Undergraduate Course: Global Geophysics (EASC10037)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course introduces students to the three-dimensional structure of the Earth, some of the processes taking place in the Earth's interior, geophysical methods that can be used to investigate them, and some current controversies.
Topics covered include the following.
1. Potential theory.
2. Gravity anomalies and the geoid.
3. Core dynamics.
4. Core-mantle boundary.
5. Mantle rheology.
6. The deep interior of the Earth.
7. The Oceanic lithosphere.
8. The Continental lithosphere.
Laplace's equation in spherical polar and cylindrical co-ordinates; properties, examples and geometry of spherical harmonics; McCullagh's formula.
Gravity Anomalies and the Geoid
Theory and concepts of the reference potential, the reference surface and normal gravity; the anomalous potential, gravity anomalies and the geoid; temporal variability of J2; International Gravity Formulae.
Mantle Rheology and Structure
Deformation mechanisms; direct evidence; laboratory experiments; numerical experiments; mantle tomography.
Thermal and compositional structure of D''; the post-perovskite phase; core-mantle coupling, length-of-day changes.
Navier-Stokes equation; non-dimensional numbers; torsional osciallations and waves in the core; core oscillations and nutations; inner core super-rotation.
Evidence from geophysical data (gravity, seismology, magnetics, heat flow, electromagnetics); receiver functions; thickness and seismic velocity structure; rheology.
Typical structure; mid-ocean ridges; transform faults; oceanic plateaux and large igneous provinces; passive continental margins; subduction zones and volcanic arcs; subducting plates.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- An integrated, detailed knowledge of Global Geophysics, especially the three-dimensional structure of the Earth and how it is determined. Part of the material is highly mathematical, whilst other parts are based on physical understanding.
- A detailed understanding of the topics covered in the course, some of which gained through the requisite reading and seminar presentations on recent, forefront developments.
- Ability to offer professional level insights into the subject.
- Mathematical competence in the relevant areas
- Ability to review critically and consolidate knowledge in the relevant areas
|Potential Theory in Gravity and Magnetic Applications, Blakely, R., C.U.P.|
Theory of the Earth, Don Anderson, Blackwell Science Inc., 1989.
Introduction to Seismology, Peter M. Shearer, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
The Earth's Mantle, Ian Jackson (ed), Cambridge University Press, 2000.
The Earth¿s Core, J.A. Jacobs, Academic Press, 1987.
Geodynamics, Donald L. Turcotte and Gerald Schubert, Cambridge University Press, 2002 (2nd Edition)
The Solid Earth: An Introduction to Global Geophysics, C.M.R. Fowler, C.U.P.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Lectures on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00-10:50, Weeks 1-11.
|Course organiser||Prof Kathy Whaler
Tel: (0131 6)50 4904
|Course secretary||Miss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510