GO 326 Plate Tectonics
ES 767 Global Tectonics
These web pages remain available in archive status,
but the course will not be updated after May 2017.
A global study of plate tectonics as a unifying solid-earth theory, which explains continental and oceanic geology of the past and present. Tectonic evolution of Eurasia and the Americas. Scientific development and applications of plate tectonics.
- Prerequisite: GO 325 Earth History, or consent of instructor.
- Readings: Selected articles from Scientific American and Earth will be supplied in pdf format—see FTP. Additional readings are taken from Geology, American Scientist and other sources.
||This dynamic Earth: The story of plate tectonics—web edition.|
Sections identified as USGS in course schedule.
- Instructor: James S. Aber, Earth Science, SH 119A, office hours: 1:00 to 3:20 Mondays and Wednesdays, and other times by appointment (email@example.com).
These courses will be taught in spring semester, 2017, for on-campus and distance-learning students. On-campus students should enroll through normal procedures. Off-campus students should enroll through Distance Education; instructor's permission is required. In order to receive university credit, students must be officially enrolled and must be in contact with the instructor for course materials and directions. BIS students must have the prerequisites noted above.
- A summary of one article from each of the three main sections (I, II & III) will be due at the end of each section. Each summary should be approximately three pages in length, well written, and follow standard format—see summary instructions. Summaries are submitted electronically as plain text (txt) or rich-text format (rtf) files. Each summary counts 10% of course grade (30% total). Summaries handed in late will receive an automatic grade penalty.
ESU's virtual writing center.
- Two, written, "take-home" exams, a mid-term and final, delivered via the web. Each exam will cover lecture and article material for about half of the semester. Students may consult lecture notes, articles, web pages, or any other sources. See schedule (below) for exam dates. Each exam represents 30% of course grade (60% total). See sample exam.
- Graduate students enrolled in ES 767 are additionally required to prepare a web presentation on a subject related to plate tectonics. The presentations will be linked to the course homepage for all students to review—see past student web presentations. Please check instructions for preparation of student webpages. Presentation is worth 10% of total grade (value of exams reduced to 50% total).
Note: The presentation must be original and unique work created by the student's own effort and submitted for this course only. Presentation results, images, text or other components of the webpage may not be utilized for other earth science courses without permission of the instructor.
- Class participation is expected; this includes weekly e-mail messages from all students and contributions to the course blog. Send text and images for the blog to your instructor. Participation is 10% of total grade.
- All students should review the departmental policy on plagiarism. See course grading scale.
- For further information about university schedule, policies and services, go to ESU syllabus attachment.
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The spring 2017 schedule is presented below. On-campus students meet for a weekly review session each Thursday, 11:00 am to 12:20 pm, in Science Hall 131. Dates below reflect the Thursday meetings. Readings for each week are identified as pdf files.
Weekly Course Schedule, 2017
I. Earth's core and mantle
II. Oceanic tectonics
Mid-term exam, available on March 3, due on March 8th.
- Feb. 9: The oceanic crust (francheteau.pdf). Seeing the seafloor in high definition (oleson2.pdf); alvin.pdf. USGS developing the theory and hot springs. Tect_figs03.pdf. Summary I due.
- Feb. 16: The origin of the land under the sea (kelemen.pdf). Oceanic fracture zones (bonatti.pdf). USGS fracture zones and mid-Atlantic ridge.
- Feb. 23: Hot spots unplugged (tarduno.pdf). The question of mantle plumes (pratt.pdf). USGS hotspots. See also mush_zone.pdf. Special presentation—North Atlantic tectonic evolution. Tect_figs04.pdf and tect_figs06.pdf.
- March 2: Mud volcanoes of the Marianas (fryer.pdf). USGS Pacific ring of fire. Tect_figs05.pdf and solomon.pdf. Special presentation—Japanese volcanism.
III. Continental tectonics
* Spring break *
- March 9: The continental crust (burchfield.pdf). Birth of an ocean (haddok.pdf). USGS East Africa. Tect_figs07.pdf, africa.pdf. Summary II due.
- March 16: A cool early Earth? (valley.pdf). Violent origins of continents (simpson1.pdf). The oldest rocks on Earth (zimmer.pdf). Tect_figs08.pdf. Special presentation on the Morton Gneiss.
- March 30: The supercontinent cycle (nance.pdf). Earth before Pangea (dalziel.pdf). USGS before Pangaea. See last billion years and middle_earth.pdf.
- April 6: The structure of mountain ranges (molnar.pdf). USGS Himalayas. Afghanistan's buried riches (simpson2.pdf). Tect_figs09.pdf. Special presentation on Eifel volcanism, Germany. Tect_figs13.pdf.
- April 13: Terranes (howell.pdf). The growth of western North America (jones.pdf). USGS terranes. Special presentation on Cascade Mountains, U.S. & Canada. Tect_figs10.pdf.
- April 20: The mid-Cretaceous superplume episode (larson.pdf). Impact or eruptions? (oleson.pdf). Mass extinctions (lee.pdf). Tect_figs11.pdf. See also Silver City as well as xenoliths. ES 767 web presentations due.
IV. Tectonic hazards
Final exam, available on May 5, due on May 10th.
- April 27: Special presentation on Japanese tectonics by visting professor Toshiro Nagasako. Background reading includes
hyndman.pdf and geist.pdf as well as USGS tsunamis (tect_figs14.pdf and tsunami.pdf). Summary III due.
- May 4: Earthquake conversations (stein.pdf). Drilling for earthquakes (kuchment.pdf). USGS plate tectonics & people. Tect_figs12.pdf.
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|| More Tectonic Websites|
© Notice: This course is presented by the Earth Science department for the express use and benefit of students enrolled at Emporia State University. Anyone else may view and enjoy the information here. No other use or repackaging of course curriculum is permitted without permission of the instructor.
ADA statement: Emporia State University will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students need to contact the Director of Disability Services and the professor as early in the semester as possible to ensure that classroom and academic accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. All communication between students, the Office of Disability Services, and the professor will be strictly confidential.
Please send your comments to the course instructor.
J.S. Aber, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last update: May 2017.