GEOS 342
Evolution of the Earth, Ocean, and Atmosphere
Instructor: Peter Reiners
Fall Semester 2011

GEOS 342 introduces students to the evolution and dynamics of Earth reservoirs, from the solid Earth to the oceans and atmosphere, with an emphasis on geochemical approaches. This class provides both historical and Earth systems perspectives, as well as training in simple quantitative analysis and modeling of Earth systems.

GEOS 342 is a required course for undergraduate students in the Earth Systems Science Track of the Geosciences Major (GEOS BS ESS). It also satisfies major credits for the Geology Track of the Geosciences Major (GEOS BS GEO).

This class will assume some familiarity with basic geology, chemistry, and a little simple calculus. As such its prerequisites are: GEOS 251 (Physical Geology), CHEM 103a/104a, MATH 124, or equivalents. Concurrent registration allowed: CHEM 103b/104b.

Tentative GEOS 342 Fall 2011 schedule

Date

Subject

Kump Chapter

modified sched topic

8/22

Introduction

 

 

8/24

Origin of the Solar System

10

 

8/29

Large-Scale Earth Evolution

7

 

8/31

Global Dynamics, Tectonics

7

 

9/5

Labor Day; no class

 

 

9/7

Daisyworld and Systems Dynamics

2

 

9/12

Geochemical Cycles

8

 

9/14

Tectonic-scale Climate Dynamics

19

 

9/19

Origin of Life

10

 

9/21

Rise of Oxygen

11

 

9/26

Overview of Earths’ Climate

3

 

9/28

Ocean Chemistry

5

 

10/3

Ocean Chemistry

5

 

10/5

Ocean Circulation

5

 

10/10

Exam 1

 

 

10/12

Atmospheric Circulation

4

 

10/17

Atmospheric Circulation

4

 

10/19

Modeling the Ocean-Atmo System

6

 

10/24

Paleoclimate Proxies

 

 

10/26

Snowball Earth

12

 

10/31

Snowball Earth

12

 

11/2

The PETM

 

 

11/7

The PETM

 

 

11/9

The Quaternary Ice Age

14

 

11/14

The Anthropocene

15 (-19)

Final Project Help Day

11/16

The Anthropocene

15 (-19)

PETM

11/21

The Anthropocene

15 (-19)

PETM

11/23

Student Presentations

 

PR gone

11/28

Student Presentations

 

Student Presentations

11/30

Student Presentations

 

Student Presentations

12/5

Exam 2

 

Student Presentations

12/7

no class; AGU

 

Exam 2

Reviews for Exams

Reviews will be posted as they become available


Problem Sets

Problem Set 1, assigned 22 Aug, due 31 Aug
Problem Set 2, assigned 7 Sept, due 19 Sept
Problem Set 3, assigned 21 Sept, due 28 Sept
Problem Set 4, assigned 28 Sept, due 5 Oct
Problem Set 5, assigned 3 Sept, due 17 Oct
Problem Set 6, assigned 24 Oct, due 2 Nov
Problem Set 7, assigned 2 Nov, due 16 Nov
Problem Set 8, assigned 16 Nov, due 9 Dec


Other Resources

The Anthropocene, from The Economist. PDF version here. Read this for Problem Set 1.
Zachosetal2005
HoffmanandSchrag2000

Helpful animations for atmospheric circulation, 19 Oct.

Good info on pre-solar grains
Isotopic abundances and masses

Isotopic abundances and masses, 2nd version
Bill White's On-line Geochemistry Book


Tips for the final project

The final project comprises a written paper (roughly 8-15 pages, including figures) and a presentation to the class (12 minutes plus 2-3 minutes for questions). The topic should be a problem, question, or incompletely understood phenomenon in Earth System Science. The goal is to analyze and discuss an issue using primary sources and original calculations or simple modeling. It is not ok to simply summarize what is known about an issue—you need to do some kind of critical analysis through calculations, experiments, or synthesis and critical analysis of previous work.

Your presentation and paper should include sections on:

Examples of possible topics for final projects:

Referencing

Citations in the paper should take the form of something like this:

 “Sedimentologic patterns worldwide provide evidence for an increase in terrestrial erosion rates between 2-4 Ma (Molnar, 2004).”

A “References Cited” section at the end of the paper should include all cited sources, with format something like this:

Molnar, P., 2004, Late Cenozoic increase in accumulation rates of terrestrial sediment: How might climate change have affected erosion rates?, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science, v. 32, p. 67-89.

Citations in the presentation should take a generally similar form. Be sure you cite all figures that you use from other sources. You do not need a final slide of references, but you do need to cite works within the talk appropriately. Recognizing previous work and original ideas is of paramount importance. Please ask if you are unclear about this.



Some External ESS Resources

Lee Allison's (Our State Geologist's) Arizona Geology Blog
IPCC

NASA's Earth Observatory, Natural Hazards
Bill White's On-line Geochemistry Book


Last updated 10:30 am 16 Nov 2011


STUDENT GUIDELINES FOR INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP WORK

Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona

Academic Year 2011-2012

1. Underlying Principle
            Unless specified in the assignment, all work and all words used to describe the results of an assignment must be the student’s own.  No material, whether paragraphs, sentences or phrases may be copied from another student or from any external source.  External material that is used, usually for a specific reason, must be accompanied by a citation of the source.

2. Individual Assignments
            In some cases, students will be told that no conferring is allowed; if that is the case, students must not discuss their work with others, or show others their work.  More often, Geosciences faculty will encourage discussion among students, because this facilitates learning.  In such a case, any ideas and concepts may be discussed openly, but the student is still responsible for his/her own work turned in for grading.  Identical paragraphs, sentences, phrases, or notations on a map/illustration may not be used by two or more students.  The best way to avoid this is for students to discuss the assignment, but then separate from each other in order to produce the work to be turned in for grading, and not share electronic files using e-mail, flash drives or other method.

3. Group Assignments
            Geosciences faculty routinely give two kinds of group assignments.  Category 1 is a group assignment where students work in parallel on the same material (for instance a mapping exercise), but then turn in individual work for grading.  Discussion is encouraged, but it is essential that each student first perform the written or map work individually, after which ideas may be exchanged and interpretations modified before the work is graded.  Copying of another’s work is prohibited, and this can be avoided in the same way as for individual assignments.  Category 2 is a group assignment where students work explicitly as teams, perhaps with each member performing parts of a complex task (such as a geophysical or analytical experiment), and a combined product will be graded with equal scores for all members of the team.  In this case, full discussion of the work, before any write-up takes place, is expected.  The instructor will inform students whether a group assignment is Category 1 or 2.

4. Reporting of Cheating       
            All incidents of cheating or plagiarism, including facilitating of same, will be reported to the Dean of Students’ office and the College of Science.  As well as the violations in take-home or field assignments detailed above, this will include any violations during quizzes and exams.  The University’s procedure and forms give students an opportunity to explain to the instructor, and to comment upon (or rebut) any accusations in writing before the forms are turned in.  But the forms can be turned in, reporting the cheating incident, even if the student fails to meet with the instructor or does not countersign the paperwork.

5.  Expectation of Student Integrity
            Instructors in the Department of Geosciences set a high standard for themselves as educators, and they expect that students, both in general education and majors’ classes, will do the same for their own education.  Thus cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated.

6.  UA Code of Academic Integrity
            This document is a statement of what students and faculty should expect within Department of Geosciences, or in general education courses offered by the Department.  It does not replace the UA’s Code of Academic Integrity, which can be read in full at <http://deanofstudents.arizona.edu/codeofacademicintegrity>