Oceanography 540--Marine Geological Processes--Autumn Quarter 2002

Ocean 540 (i.e., Ocean 549b):
Marine Geological Processes
Autumn Quarter 2002

Class Meetings:
211 Ocean Teaching Building
(and occasionally in Spatial Analysis Lab, 111 Ocean Sciences Building)
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday--1:30 p.m -2:20 p.m.

Russ McDuff
119 Ocean Teaching Building, 3-3058 (usually)
270 Marine Science Building, 5-1947 (occasionally)
Open Door Office Hours (Details)

Course Web http://www2.ocean.washington.edu/oc540/  

Course Overview

Marine Geological Processes is required for students in the MG&G option and is also intended as general course for students outside the option. The focus of the course will be examination of a small set of selected themes involving the geologic history of earth and ocean processes. In particular we will focus on processes involved in 1) the development of the sedimentary record in the vicinity of the mid ocean ridge and 2) the record of global sea level on a broad range of time scales. The approach taken is to apply principles of thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, continuum mechanics and time series analysis to modeling and understanding of observational data. In other words, the course is not meant to be encyclopedic, but rather illustrative of the methodology used in attacking significant contemporary problems in the marine geosciences. Lectures and discussions will be supplemented with reading from the literature and problem sets.  

Reference Materials

Over the past decade, Ross Heath and I developed a set of web-based lecture notes which have functioned as the text for the old 5-credit version of the course. This lecture archive is available from this index. Reading from these notes will be assigned in advance of related lectures. This quarter I will build a new set of lectures notes representing the content of the three-credit format. I will bring copies for you each class session, although they may still be in relatively rough form.

The course content is not based on any specific textbook. If your background in earth sciences is limited, the text The Ocean Basins: Their Structure and Evolution published by the Open University (ISBN 0750639830) may be a valuable supplement to the lecture material. Another excellent introductory reference on the earth sciences, is Understanding Earth by Frank Press and Ray Siever (ISBN 0716731339). A comprehensive, though mainly descriptive, introduction to marine geology emphasizing the history of the ocean basins can be found in Marine Geology by Jim Kennett. Many have found Turcotte and Schubert's Geodynamics (ISBN 0521666244 paperback) useful for portions of the course. All four of these books will be on reserve in the Fish-Ocean Library.

References to additional relevant material are listed with the associated lectures.  


The lecture schedule will be evolving. Changes will be announced in class and posted on the web.  


Problem Sets (75%)

There will be weekly problem sets distributed at the Thursday class session and due the following week. You are welcome and encouraged to discuss problems with your classmates, but the work you turn in should represent your own understanding of the problem. Late work will be discounted 10% per day, unless arrangements have been made in advance..

Final (25%)

There will be a one-hour individual oral final.  

Computer Use

We will make use of computing tools in illustrating various concepts. For problems involving time series analysis we will use MATLAB, a matrix oriented interactive computing environment with powerful graphics capabilites and a collection of scientific toolboxes, e.g., the signal processing toolbox. MATLAB is available on the PCs in 102 MSB, the Fish-Ocean library and the SAL (111 OSB) and can be run via XWindows from the UW uniform access machines, e.g. mead.u.washington.edu. I will also make use of Mathematica as a tool for problem solving, but it is unrealistic to think that you would surmount the learning curve during this course (but let me know if you'd like help!).


The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206-543-6450/V, 206-543-6452/TTY, 206-685-7264 (FAX), or <dso@u.washington.edu>.

Lecture Index | Search the Ocean 540 Pages | Ocean 540 Home

Valid HTML 4.0!

Oceanography 540 Pages
Pages Maintained by Russ McDuff (mcduff@ocean.washington.edu)
Copyright (©) 1994-2002 Russell E. McDuff and G. Ross Heath; Copyright Notice
Content Last Modified 9/30/2002 | Page Last Built 9/30/2002