- Code PHYS3070
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Physics
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Physics
- Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering
This course has been adjusted for remote participation in Sem 2 2021, however students are encouraged to attend on-campus activities if possible.
The course is an introduction to physics of the solid Earth intended for students with substantial background in physics and mathematics including calculus. The course will provide an overview of the structure and evolution of the Earth as a dynamic planet within our solar system. Physical principles will be applied to the following topics: theory of elasticity and elastic wave propagation; modern global seismology as a probe of the Earth's internal structure; earthquakes and the description of seismic sources; a simple but fundamental theory of thermal convection; the distinctive rheological behaviour of the upper mantle and its top layer, controlled by significant changes in the mechanical properties of the material, will then be explored to arrive at a comprehensive description of what forces drive and resist global plate motions.Honours Pathway Option
Students taking the HP advanced option will undertake an individual project on a topic of interest from the course syllabus. Such project shall develop in consultation with the course lecturers, and may be in the form of a reading project or a laboratory/numerical experiment accompanied by a final report. The assessment of the project will be agreed upon and undertaken in a manner appropriate to the project itself (e.g. a written report or essay, a short talk etc.). Students taking the HP option may elect to substitute their project mark either with up to two (out of four) individual assignments or with one of the experiments and accompanying report normally undertaken during the course (this amounts to a total of 10-20% of the final grade). The assessment weight towards the exam will remain the same.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Discuss the theoretical basis for modern global seismology and employ methods based on such theory to understand earthquake phenomena and the seismological probing of earth structure.
- Explain the governing dynamics of mantle and lithosphere, and use such understanding to make reliable estimates of the forces controlling plate motions and their temporal changes.
- Examination (40) [LO 1,2]
- Homework assignments (20) [LO 1,2]
- Lab assignments (20) [LO 1,2]
- Oral presentations (20) [LO 1,2]
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
• Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week and 4 x 3 hour lab sessions throughout the semester.
• Approximately 70 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures and other assessment tasks.
Yet to be determined.
Requisite and Incompatibility
- Bolt, B. (2004) Earthquakes, Freeman & Co. (QE534.3 .B65 2004)
- Shearer, P.M. (1999) Introduction to Seismology, Cambridge University Press (QE534.2 .S455 1999) - available online as a pdf
- Tkalcic, H. (2017) The Earth's inner core: revealed by observational seismology, Cambridge University Press, eBook access via Internet. ANU/ANV, ISBN 9781139583954
- Davies, G. F. (1999) Dynamic Earth, Cambridge University Press (QE509.4 .D38 1999)
- Poirier, J.P. (1991) Introduction to the Physics of the Earth's Interior, Cambridge University Press (QE509.P64 1991)
- Stacey, F.D. (1992) Physics of the Earth, 3rd Edn., Brookfield Press (QC806.S65 1992)
- Turcotte, D.L. & Schubert, G. (2002) Geodynamics 2nd Edn, Cambridge University Press, (QE501.T83 2002)
It is desirable that students have completed PHYS3102, but it is not a course requirement.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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