Earth 202 EARTH'S INTERIOR


Fall 2014

Instructor: Seth Stein

T.A.s: Amir Salaree and Eddie Brooks



Course Information:

Course Syllabus (pdf)
Handouts (pdf)
Course Themes
Plate Boundaries Map
Seismic experiment photos


This website is based on a list of the major topics covered in class. For each topic, we give reading material from texts, information about the class demonstrations and laboratory exercises, and some of the supplementary resources available on the Internet. Try these out and tell us what you think!

Class Topics (Click to go to topic):

  1. Size, mass, & density of the Earth
  2. Seismic waves
  3. Minerals
  4. Composition of the crust, mantle, and core
  5. Radiometric age dating
  6. Origin of the elements and formation of the solar system
  7. Meteorites, formation of the planets
  8. Thermal evolution of planets
  9. Continental drift and paleomagnetism
  10. Earthquakes and plate tectonics
  11. Plate boundaries and kinematics
  12. Lab exercises
  13. Problem sets
  14. Sample midterm
  15. Extra Credit


TOPIC 1: Size, mass, & density of the Earth

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TOPIC 2: Seismic waves

  • Exploring the concepts
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    TOPIC 3: Minerals

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    TOPIC 4: Composition of crust, mantle and core

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    TOPIC 5: Radiometric age dating

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    TOPIC 6: Origin of the elements and formation of the solar system

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    TOPIC 7: Meteorites, formation of the planets

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    TOPIC 8: Thermal evolution of planets

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    TOPIC 9: Continental drift and paleomagnetism

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    TOPIC 10: Earthquakes and plate tectonics

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    TOPIC 11: Plate boundaries and kinematics

  • Exploring the concepts
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    Administrative stuff

    It's important to keep up, so attending all lectures and lab periods is required. In-class questions cannot be made up.
    No portable electronic devices (cell phones, PDAs, laptops etc.) may be used in class.
    Homework and labs are due a week after being handed out, at the beginning of class. No credit will be given for late work without prior approval from instructor or TA. Missed labs cannot be made up, given the setup and operational time involved.
    On tests, homework, class problems, and labs numerical answers require units and appropriate numbers of significant digits. All work must be shown.
    Make-ups are ONLY allowable through advance arrangement with the Office of Studies.
    Students may discuss homework and reports with each other, but are expected to work and do their write-ups independently. You can't look at another student's work or show them yours.


    Extra Credit:



    Every Friday at 3:00 pm in Room F285, the EPS Department hosts a speaker who discusses current research. The list of speakers, titles, and dates is here. While not all the speakers cover topics directly relating to this course, and the talks are higher level than the course, it's an opportunity for enrichment. Thus we offer homework extra credit for a 1-page summary of each talk, on up to 3 talks, each worth 2% of grade, due within two weeks after the talk and by time of second test.




    Sample tests


    Sample midterm Click here.

    Sample second test Click here.




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    A "Small is beautiful" approach to upgrading a beginning geophysics course