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GEOS 250
Tectonic Geomorphology and Landscape Development Spring 2020
Division III Writing Skills

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Traditionally tectonics investigated processes operating deep in the crust and mantle, whereas geomorphology focused on surficial processes that shape the landscape. Tectonic geomorphology explores the complex interactions between tectonic and surficial processes. It has long been recognized that crustal uplift during mountain building creates new landscapes, but we now suspect that variations in erosion rate can fundamentally influence the development of mountains. Climate plays a central role in this feedback loop; the rise of mountains can change climate, and such changes can alter regional erosion rates. This course will examine how geologists use characteristic markers to estimate the amount of surface uplift, methods for determining uplift rate, surface response to faulting and folding, measuring displacement of the crust with GPS and interferometry methods, how mountain building affects erosion and exhumation rates, the limits to relief in mountains, and the interaction between mountains and climate.
The Class: Format: tutorial; after an initial group meeting, students will meet in pairs for one hour each week with the instructor; each student will orally present a written paper every other week for criticism during the tutorial session
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3628
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: five 4- to 5-page papers based on journal articles
Prerequisites: at least one of the following courses: GEOS 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302, 303 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Geosciences majors
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills
WS Notes: Five 4- to 5-page papers distributed throughout the semester. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.
Attributes: GEOS Group C Electives - Solid Earth

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