Spring 2010

Surficial Earth Dynamics

Listed in: Geology, as GEOL-21


Anna M. Martini (Section 01)
William B. Ouimet (Section 01)


For at least 3.5 billion years, the Earth’s surface environment has supported some form of life. What geologic processes first created and now maintain this environment? To what extent has life modified this environment over geologic time? What conditions are necessary for a planet to be conducive to life? What are the natural processes that operate at the Earth’s surface? This course looks at the environment from a geologist’s perspective. The course will start with dynamic systems that can be observed in operation today, as in river and coastal settings, where erosion and deposition occur, and by the interaction of the oceans, atmosphere, and climate. Techniques for interpreting the rock record will be developed so that past environments can be examined and potential future conditions on Earth better appreciated. Differences between earliest Earth environments and those of the more recent few billion years will be studied and integrated with the history of the origin and evolution of life. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab, including field trips, each week.

Requisite: Geology 11 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professors Martini and Ouimet.


Science & Math for non-majors, Lab science course


2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015