From the NRC report Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth’s Surface (Pg. 18): “Earth’s surface is a dynamic interface across which the atmosphere, water, biota, and tectonics interact to transform rock into landscapes with distinctive features crucial to the function and existence of water resources, natural hazards, climate, biogeochemical cycles, and life. Interacting physical, chemical, biotic, and human processes—’Earth surface processes’— alter and reshape Earth’s surface on spatial scales that range from those of atomic particles to continents and over time scales that operate from nanoseconds to millions of years.
In this class, we will study many of the ‘Earth surface processes’ that govern landscape evolution. Our mantra will be “process from form.” That is, the form of a landscape can provide insight into the physical processes responsible for its creation. Specifically, we will study river, hillslope, glacier, and coastal processes.
Instructor: Noah Finnegan
Contact Info: Office: E&MS A115, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: Wednesday, 12 -2 pm or by appointment (email please)
Lectures: T/Th 1:30 – 3:05 PM, E&MS D258
Claire Masteller, email@example.com, office hours: Weds 2:30 – 4:30, A357
Alex Nereson, firstname.lastname@example.org, office hours: Thurs 3:05 – 5:05, A142
Lab 1: Wednesday, 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM, E&MS D258,
Lab 2: Friday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, E&MS D258
Text: R.S. Anderson and S.P. Anderson: The Mechanics and Chemistry of Landscapes
7 lab exercises
2 Reports Based on Field Trips
Two 1 Day Field Trips, 1/21/17, 2/11/17
Open Book, Open Notes, Take Home Final
Labs and problem sets can and should be done together in groups. Although I encourage you to discuss together the data collected during the weekend field trips I expect that you will ultimately work alone in actually drafting the scientific reports. If you collaborate on the writing of a scientific report with another person, you will both receive no credit for the report. I will give you very specific objectives for the reports when I assign them.
You will receive one grade for the class (i.e. combined lab and lecture). The weighting of the assignments for the lecture is as follows
Report 1 – 25% (10% Draft 1, 15% Draft 2)*
Report 2 – 25% *
*Together Reports 1 and 2 constitute 1/2 of the UCSC disciplinary writing requirement
Open Notes, Open Book, Take Home Final – 25%
Labs – 25%
Late Policy: 10 % will be deducted for every day after the due date that an assignment or lab is turned in.
Attendance Policy: You are responsible for the material that is presented in class every day. It is in your best interest to attend class. I will not take attendance. However, it is VERY unlikely that you will be able to pass this course without attending the lectures. If you miss a class, please make arrangements to get a copy of lecture notes from a friend.
Distribution of Readings and Course Materials
For the reports, labs, and lectures I will periodically post materials on a shared Google Drive folder
Course Schedule and Reading Assignments
1/10/17 Lecture 1. Class Cancelled.
Lab 1: Excel Basics
Quick Class Introduction,
1/12/17 Lecture 2. Syllabus overview, class pictures, why geomorphology? Classical views of Geomorphology, Precipitation, Runoff and Hydrographs
Reading For Class: P. 100-104; Chapter 11 (skip groundwater section)
1/17/17 Lecture 3. Runoff/Alluvial Rivers I
Reading For Class: 395-414, 340-343
Lab 2: Precipitation and Channel Flow on Titan; Surveying Basics, Quantifying Grain Size in a River,
1/19/17 Lecture 4. Alluvial Rivers II, Debris Flows, Effective Report Writing, Report 1 Assigned
Reading for Class: USGS Fact Sheet 2004-3142
1/21/17 Mandatory Fieldtrip 1, San Lorenzo River Valley (8 AM-6 PM), Meet at E&MS Loading Dock at 8 AM. Rain or Shine.
Reading for Fieldtrip: Montgomery and Buffington, 1997; USGS Fact Sheet 2004-3142
1/24/17. Lecture 5. Planform Morphology of Rivers, Alluvial Fans, Floodplains, and Deltas
Lab 3: Data Assimilation and Processing for Report 1
1/26/17 Lecture 6. Weathering and Soil Production
Reading For Class: Chapter 7
1/31/17 Lecture 7. Hillslopes
Reading For Class: Chapter 10 through page 328,
Lab 4: Hillslope Sediment Transport
2/2/17 Lecture 8. Landslides and Mass-wasting, Report 1, Draft 1 Due
Reading For Class: 330-335 .
2/7/17 Lecture 9. Landslides and Mass-wasting cont./Glaciers I
Reading For Class: Chapter 8
Lab 5: Glacial Geomorphology and Mechanics
2/9/17 Lecture 10. Glaciers II.
Reading For Class: Chapter 8
2/11/17 Mandatory Fieldtrip 2, Sunol Ohlone Regional Wilderness (8 AM-6 PM), Meet at E&MS Loading Dock at 8 AM. Rain or Shine.
Reading For Fieldtrip TBD
2/14/17 Lecture 11. Bedrock Landslides, Report 1, Draft 1 Returned. Report 2 Assigned
Lab 6: Work on Report 2
2/16/17 Lecture 12.
Tectonic Geomorphology I – Orogen Scale,
2/21/17 Lecture 13. Tectonic Geomorphology II – Bedrock River Channels
2/22/17 Report 1, Draft 2 Due in Noah’s office by 5 PM. Please include draft 1 with your draft 2 submission. No electronic submission this time.
Reading for Class: Chapter 13
Lab 7: Climate, Tectonics and the Morphology of the Andes
2/23/17 Lecture 14., Whole Landscapes I: Coupling of Hillslope and Channel Processes
2/28/17 Lecture 15. Geochronology and Geomorphology I.
Reading For Class: Chapter 6
Lab 8: Tectonics, Topography, and Bedrock River Profiles
3/2/17 Lecture 16. Geochronology and Geomorphology II, Report 2 Due
Reading For Class: Chapter 6
3/7/17 Lecture 17. Coastal Processes
Lab 9: Santa Cruz Marine Terraces
3/9/17 Lecture 18. Coastal Processes cont. / Geomorphology and Tectonics of Santa Cruz
3/14/17 Lecture 19. Eco-geomorphology
Lab 10: No Lab
3/16/17 Review For Final
Take Home Final Posted
3/24/17, 3 PM, Take Home Final due in my office (A115) or in my mailbox in the department office