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Unit of study_

GEOS3101: Deep Mantle to Earth Surface Dynamics

Planet Earth is a complex system in which exchanges of matter and energy across its various components has maintained the permanent state of change needed for the emergence of the Earth's biosphere and its sustainability over billions of years. As the present existential crises show, from climate change to the collapse of biodiversity, the Earth's biosphere, its atmosphere and ocean, its landscapes, the Earth's lithosphere and the Earth's deep interior are tightly coupled. In such a system, no component can be understood in isolation from the others. In GEOS3101, you will learn how we probe the deep Earth interior, what powers mantle dynamics, plate tectonics, and surface dynamics, and how they impact on climate change. You will gain an appreciation and understanding of the feedback loops between the Earth's surface, tectonic processes, mantle dynamics and climate. During the practical classes, you will learn and apply a range of investigative methodologies to unravel the geodynamic of the Earth from the deep mantle to the Earth's surface. You will learn to decode the temperature, pressure and strain history of metamorphic rocks, and to decode the morphology, and assess the potential biodiversity of ancient and future landscapes by characterizing their physical properties. You will develop and apply knowledge relevant to heat and mass transfer, rocks’ rheology, fluvial incision and hillslope diffusion to design and run computer simulations to explore complex geodynamic, tectonic and surface processes.

Code GEOS3101
Academic unit Geosciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
(GEOS2114 or GEOS2914) and (GEOS2124 or GEOS2924)
GEOS3801 or GEOS3003 or GEOS3903 or GEOS3004 or GEOS3904 or GEOS3006 or GEOS3906 or GEOS3017 or GEOS3917

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand how seismic tomography data reveal deep Earth structure from the core, to the lithosphere, to the subsurface.
  • LO2. Understand heat transfer processes across the deep mantle and the lithosphere, and assess their impact of the thermal and mechanical evolution of the Earth’s lithosphere.
  • LO3. Evaluate the forces involved in the deformation of the Earth’s lithosphere, use the concept of isostasy to evaluate the gravitational force acting within the lithosphere.
  • LO4. Understand the interplay between tectonic and surface processes and quantitatively assess its impacts on landscape in regions of active deformation and during periods of climate changes.
  • LO5. Apply the acquired knowledge to design and perform numerical experiments to explore coupled geodynamic, tectonic and surface processes.
  • LO6. Work collaboratively in a multicultural team environment.
  • LO7. Write concise technical reports; present engaging scientific oral presentations; design and deliver effective multimedia podcasts.