GEO 3202 -- Changes

Mon Dec 7 15:12:00 2009

Effective Term: New:  1119 - Fall 2011
Old:  1089 - Fall 2008
Course Title Short: New:  Fluid Earth Dynamics
Old:  Geodynamics II
Course Title Long: New:  Fluid Earth Dynamics
Old:  Geodynamics II: The Fluid Earth
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
New:  4.0 to 4.0 credit(s)
Old:  3.0 to 3.0 credit(s)
Component 1: New:  LEC (with final exam)
Old:  DIS (no final exam)
Component 2: New:  DIS (with final exam)
Old:  LEC (with final exam)
Progress Units:
New:  Not allowed to bypass limits.
4.0 credit(s)
Old:  Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
New:  Not allowed to bypass limits.
4.0 credit(s)
Old:  Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
New:   Repetition not allowed.
Old:   Repetition not allowed.
Proposal Changes: New:  Course name change, increase in credits from 3 to 4, increase in course content by approx. 25%
Old:  <no text provided>
Sponsor Name:
New:  Martin Saar
Sponsor E-mail Address:
Student Learning Outcomes: * Student in the course:

- Can identify, define, and solve problems


Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

This course is centered around understanding geoscience fluid flow processes in a quantitative way making use of calculus and basic fluid mechanics concepts such as force and mass balance, viscosity, convection, mixing, laminar/turbulent flow, shear stresses, and pressure. Fluid flow systems to be studied include rivers, oceans, atmosphere, groundwater, magma, Earth┐s mantle and outer core, as well as glaciers. Students will actively solve problems in small groups during lectures, during homework assignments, as laboratory exercises, and during midterm and final exams. Examples of class work include an introduction to a topic by the faculty, followed by in-group exercises such as calculation of the Earth┐s asthenosphere viscosity from plate motion velocities, stream flow velocities from stream slope, and grain settling velocities (e.g., crystals in magma, sediments in a lake, etc.). Of particular interest are first-order calculations, possibly after short peer-to-peer discussions, addressing questions such as: ┐1) How fast can it go? 2) What forces are involved? 3) How much is transported?┐ rather than requiring exact answers. This approach lets students develop a feel for relative magnitudes of importance and intuitive insights as well as develop strategies for solving problems.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

Student learning will be evaluated based on homework exercises, lab exercises, a midterm exam, and a final exam. Class work (discussions, brief calculations, etc.) mainly serve as preparation for these student learning evaluations.

Old: unselected

Please provide a provisional syllabus for new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed that include the following information: course goals and description; format/structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (texts, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated.

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" at . Provisional course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification, This provisional course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

New:     GEO 3202: Fluid Earth Geodynamics
Fall Term 2011  

Martin Saar (Prof)    
Office: PillsH 21   
Phone: 625-7332   

Chris Paola (Prof)   
Office: PillsH 30B/SAFL 3  
Phone: 624-8025   

Maria Davis (TA)
Office: 200D  
Phone: none  

Textbook: Unfortunately, there is no appropriate textbook for this course. We will provide supplementary texts in form of handouts or files on the course web site, along with lecture notes and supplementary reading materials.
Lectures:   Mondays, Wednesdays: 1:25 PM - 2:15 PM  (PillsH 110)    (Homework exercises will be handed out during (some) lectures.)  
Labs:   Thursdays: 12:20 PM ┐ 2:15 PM (PillsH 125B), TA: Maria Davis   or    Thursdays: 9:05 AM ┐ 11:00 AM (PillsH 125B), TA: Maria Davis     Labs will involve problem solving and physical experiments designed to     illustrate ideas and principles covered in lecture. Meet in Pillsbury 125B     unless otherwise indicated by the TA. See also separate lab syllabus.  
Course Grade:  Homework: 10%    Mid-Term Exam (Oct. 28): 20%    Final Exam (PillsH 110, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM, Friday, Dec. 18): 30%     (Final exam is comprehensive but with emphasis on lectures 16-29.)    
Labs: 40%     (separate lab syllabus illustrates lab grade calculation)
Course Description:
Fluids and fluid motion play major roles in numerous geologic processes on Earth's surface and interior. This course provides a quantitative introduction to the geologic fluids that shape our dynamic planet. Emphasis will be placed on mastering basic concepts in fluid mechanics and applying these concepts to a wide range of geologic problems. Goals include: (i) exploring important fluid systems of the Earth, such as atmosphere, rivers, groundwater, glaciers and magmas; (ii) providing an introduction to basic concepts in fluid mechanics, such as laminar versus turbulent flow, viscosity and convection; (iii) illustrating applications of basic ideas, such as derivatives and integrals in mathematics to earth science problems; and (iv) developing the habit of thinking analytically and quantitatively. Students will be tested on both key vocabulary and applications of the material covered in lecture to geologic problems. The latter will involve both clear, qualitative explanations of the mechanics involved as well as mathematical, quantitative analyses and calculations. The course is designed primarily, but not exclusively, for majors.
Course Goals:
To discover how some important fluid systems of the Earth work:
┐        rivers
┐        oceans
┐        atmosphere
┐        groundwater
┐        mass flows
┐        glaciers
┐        magma/lava *mantle
To provide an introduction to basic concepts in fluid mechanics:
┐        force balance
┐        mass balance
┐        viscosity
┐        convection
┐        mixing
┐        laminar/turbulent flow
┐        shear stresses and pressure
To show how some basic ideas in mathematics are applied to problems in the Earth sciences:
┐        logarithms
┐        exponentials
┐        trig functions
┐        derivatives
┐        integrals
┐        PDEs
┐        gradients
┐        dimensional analysis
To develop a habit of thinking analytically and quantitatively:
┐        How fast can it go?
┐        What forces are involved?
┐        How much is transported?
┐        How long does it take?
┐        What are the key physical properties?
Topics in Fluid Earth Dynamics
All topics with geologic examples; All analytical/conceptual solutions except where noted.
Week 1: Fluid properties, forces I, Rheology of Earth materials
┐        Fluids (liquids, gases) vs. solids, Deborah #
┐        Newtonian, Bingham, pseudo-plastic, dilatant, ┐ fluids
┐        Forces, stresses, pressure, strain, strain rates, dynamic/kinematic viscosity
┐        Velocity, velocity and pressure gradients
┐        Simple shear, pure shear
Week 2: Simple flow (velocity and stress profiles)
┐        Pressure and/or shear stress driven flow
┐        Flow down an inclined plane
┐        Channel and pipe flow
┐        Determining the viscosity of the Asthenosphere using plate tectonics
┐        Examples: streams, magma in volcanic conduits, lava flow
Week 3: Flow around a sphere
┐        Forces acting on a grain/sphere
┐        Stokes law and settling velocity
┐        Bubble rise velocity
┐        Reynolds # (Re#) and coefficient of friction
┐        *Numerical simulations of flow around obstacles or in channels with varying Re#s
Week 4: Dimensional analysis
┐        Nondimensionalizing equations, e.g., using Buckingham Pi Theorem
┐        Dimensionless numbers (Re, CD , Ra, and others)
┐        *Examples: Navier Stokes equation
Week 5: Convection
┐        Examples: mantle, geothermal/hydrothermal systems, ocean circulation, atmosphere
┐        Fourier┐s law of heat conduction
┐        Heat advection/convection
┐        Temperature profiles in the Earth, boundary layers, convective regions
┐        Ideal gas law, Ra#, whole versus upper mantle convection, ridge push/slab pull
┐        *Mantle and outer core convection; porous medium convection
Week 6: Porous medium flow
┐        Examples: groundwater, partial melts, gas, petroleum, geothermal/hydrothermal systems
┐        Energy of fluid in porous medium: hydraulic head and its gradient
┐        Hydraulic conductivity and permeability
┐        Darcy┐s law in 1 to 3 dimensions and its validity (laminar flow)
┐        *Groundwater flow equation (i.e., hydraulic head diffusion equation)
Week 7: Turbulence and real fluids
┐        Effects of turbulence (e.g., on actual stream flow velocities; mixing, T-profiles, etc.)
┐        Cause of turbulence
┐        *Approximations of turbulent flow
┐        *Numerical simulations of turbulence
Week 8: Surface water flow (streams)
┐        Stream stress and velocity profiles
┐        Effect of turbulence on stream velocities
┐        Erosion due to streams
Week 9: Sediment dynamics
┐        Some more settling of grains
┐        Stresses on stream beds and pick up of grains from a stream bed
┐        Movement of grains in stream currents
Week 10: *Debris flow
┐        *How to describe their flow mathematically (stress, velocity profiles)
┐        *How do they start/stop
Week 11: Ice and glacial rebound I+II
┐        How to describe ice flow mathematically (stress, velocity profiles)
┐        Ice flow laws (e.g., Glen┐s law, Kohlstedt┐s law)
┐        Glacial rebound, viscosity of Earth┐s mantle
Week 12: Atmospheric circulation I+II
┐        High/low atmospheric pressure zones, horse latitudes, etc., convection cells
┐        Coriolis force and acceleration, planetary winds (westerlies, trade winds, ..)
┐        Ra#, Pr# and related size of convection cells
┐        *Geostrophic force balance and flow
Week 13: Ocean circulation I+II
┐        Thermocline, haliocline, shallow versus deep circulation
┐        Effect of wind, temperature, and coast lines on ocean circulation
┐        Downwelling of ocean waters
┐        Open ocean upwelling, coastal upwelling, and topographic upwelling of ocean water
┐        Dynamic ocean topography
┐        Under-currents, North Atlantic deep water current, major ocean currents
Week 14: Waves and beaches I+II
┐        Surface gravity waves, Airy theory
┐        Deep ocean waves,
┐        *tsunamis
┐        *Wave velocities
Week 15: *Self organization I+II
┐        *Patterns in stream beds and elsewhere

Old:  <no text provided>