Course goals:

This course gives overview of the tools and findings of Active Tectonics research. It should be of interest to first and second year graduate students and is accessible to motivated upper-level undergraduate students. In previous years, several first-year graduate students decided to develop their course project into their second qualifying exam proposal.
Lectures providing basic background are complemented by reading and discussion of research papers. The homework problems and course projects provide more indepth exposure to some of the topics. Several of the topics discussed this semester could easily fill a full-semester graduate course or seminar; however, we are limited in how many full courses we can teach. In general, if you need to become an expert in these topics, it will be necessary to learn the details through literature study and one-on-one instruction. This course should help you find out where to start and may give you ideas on how to approach a research problem. I encourage you to engage in discussions in class and to have individual meetings with me as questions or ideas arise.

I hope you will gain an appreciation and better understanding of "Active Tectonics" including:

Course format:

As a graduate level course, this class combines lectures and reading of textbook or review paper material with discussions and reading of journal papers. I will often lecture on Mondays (usually with some spillover into Wednesday) and we will sometimes have paper discussions led by course participants, on Wednesdays. Thus, the course will be a mix of (1) lectures, (2) discussions, (3) tons of reading both from books and journal articles, (4) exercises, and (5) a research project.

Lectures: Reading assignments are from textbooks, lecture notes, and review papers. I will provide PDF copies of the handouts available. Please preview the reading by Friday of the previous week and send questions you would like me to address in lecture via e-mail.

Discussions: Assigned reading for the discussions will usually consist of ~2 journal papers, depending on length and content. I may also post additional relevant references that you might want to have a look at for further in depth study. Course participants will briefly review the important aspects of the papers in about 20 minutes, assuming that everybody read the paper. The presenters will subsequently lead a discussion of the paper. In preparation for this discussion, you should develop and write down questions and talking points to stimulate and guide the discourse. At the end of this discussion we should have a sense of:

  1. Why was a paper written and what were the underlying hypotheses and questions?
  2. What approach and tools were used to address the problem?
  3. What was the result?
  4. What are the implications of the result and how might they stimulate further research?
  5. What made this a good or important paper, - or not?

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Most recent update update: August 23, 2018