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Geomechanics Geology 5110

Professor: Robert S. Anderson * Office Hours: M, W after class, and by appointment * Office: 279 INSTAAR (RL-3) or 4th floor Benson * Phones: 303-735-8169, 303-735-4684; home: 720-565-0468 * Email: Robert.S.Anderson@Colorado.edu or andersrs@colorado.edu Lecture: M, W 9:00-10:15, Benson 265 Texts: Dynamic Earth, Geoffrey Davies (DE) Geodynamics, 2nd edition, Turcotte & Schubert (T&S) The Little Book of Geomorphology (RSA web site) plus occasional readings (handouts) from modern literature

SYLLABUS Date Topic Week 1 8/23 Reading and Assignments

Lecture 1. An overview of the course. The surface temperature of the planet (a radiation balance). DE Chapters 1 and 2; skim chapter 3; downloadable math and physics appendices; download The Little Book of Geomorphology climate system chapter Problem set #1 handed out Lecture 2. The heat equation. Conduction. The geotherm. Overview of the Earth's thermal structure. DE178-186. T&S 132-136. Download The Little Book The geotherm, permafrostchapter


Week 2 8/30 Lecture 3. More steady heat conduction problems. Steady with heaters: Contributions from radioactivity. Qualitative introduction to non-steady cases. DE 192-198; T&S 136-144, 149-153 Lecture 4. Thermal profiles driven by periodic temperatures at the surfaceorA snake writhing in an exponential funnel. DE 192-198; T&S 136-144, 149-153


Week 3 9/6 9/8 no class, Labor Day Lecture 5. From the grilled cheese sandwich to the age of the Earth. Instantaneous heating/cooling. DE 186-192. Re-read chapter 2 for historical account T&S 153-157.

Week 4 9/13 9/15 Lecture 5. Video or guest lecture? RSA in CZO meeting Lecture 6. Oceanic bathymetry: boundary layers, density changes and isostasy. What is meant by a plate in plate tectonics? Plates as thermal boundary layers.

DE chapter 3, DE 78-83, 186-192. T&S 157-162, 174-179 Problem set #1 turned in. Week 5 9/20 Lecture 7. Applications to geomorphic problems. Hillslopes, cosmogenic radionuclides. Reference if interested: Anderson (2002) paper on high surfaces. Problem set #2 handed out. Lecture 8. Thermal profiles in boreholes as probes of global warming. Discuss in class Lachenbruch and Marshall 1986 Science.


Week 6 9/27 Lecture 9. Possible Guest lecture by Gary Clow on borehole thermal measurement methods and analysis for ground surface temperature histories. or Examples of application of mass balance. Glacier introduction. Groundwater introduction. Coastal or littoral problems. Lecture 10. Applications to volcanic problems. Lava bombs, lava lakes, explosive volcanic eruptions.

9/29 Week 7 10/4

Lecture 11. Advection in general. Arrhenius equation. Thermochronometric systems. Problem set #2 turned in. MIDTERM


Week 8 FLUID MECHANICS PROBLEMS 10/11 Lecture 12. Basic principles of fluid mechanics. Definition of rheology. Stress and strain rate. The continuity equation. Variegated and Grinnell films. DE 122-148; T&S 231-2352 Problem set #3 handed out Lecture 13. Derivation of the full Navier-Stokes equation. T&S 234-237; DE 140-142


Week 9 10/18 Lecture 14. Fluid mechanics problems I. Fluid statics: P(z). Flow between two plates. Tibetan topographic ooze. DE 147-149; T&S 226-234, Mantle goosh in Little Book Lecture 15. Fluid mechanics problems II. Couette flow. Non-dimensionalizing the N-S equation. The Reynolds number. DE 149-157; T&S 254-262.


Week 10 10/25 Lecture 16. Fluid mechanics problems III. Open channel flow. Fluid mechanics film on low Re flows


Lecture 17. Fluid mechanics problems IV. Pipe flow. Darcy equation, model for permeability.

Week 11 11/1 11/3 Lecture 16. Settling speeds: Rising bubbles, sinking drops, sinking crystals. Lecture 17. Fluid mechanics problems V. Working example problems (lavas, magma chambers, xenoliths, plume heads). Problem set #3 turned in

Week 12 11/8 Lecture 18. Isostatic rebound as a probe of upper mantle viscosity DE 157-163; T&S 244-248 Problem set #4 handed out Lecture 19. Mantle convection. Plate modes and plume modes of mantle convection (top down and bottom up) skim DE Chapters 8, 10 and 11 but read carefully DE211-228.


Week 13 11/15 Lecture 20. The instability problem. Example of a fluid heated from below DE 211-228 Lecture 21. Convective instabilities II. Conditions for instability. Introduction of the Rayleigh number


Week 14 No Classes, Fall Break 11/22-26 Week 15 11/29 12/1 Lecture 22. Plate flexure. Volcanic loads and glacial loads. Tide gauge support for a forebulge. Lecture 23. Class discussion of papers. (Kendall_8.2 ka sealevel rise; Driscoll and Karner Amazon) Problem set #4 turned in

Week 16 12/6 Lecture 24. Turbulence and the law of the wall velocity profile, application to rivers. Suspension sediment transport profileand/or An introduction to the dynamic surface of the Earth geomorphology overview. Lecture 25. Review of the class Final exam time tbd

12/8 12/10

************** (no final exam in finals week, as that is Fall AGU meeting, Dec 13-17)

Evaluation of your performance 1. Homework which counts for a total of 50% of your grade. Homeworks will be handed out in class and are due in class on the designated day. You will be docked for turning it in late. 2. Midterm Exam which counts for 20% of your grade. 3. Final Exam which counts for 30% of your grade.

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