2016 Dynamics of the Earth and Planet

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Earth and Planetary Sciences
Nakajima Junichi  Iwamori Hikaru 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(I311)  Fri3-4(I311)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

This course focuses on earthquakes, magmatism, thermal convection, material transportation, plate motion, and chemical reaction that are ongoing in the Earth.

Students will have the chance to tackle practical problems in the Earth by applying knowledge acquired through this course.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand global structures (seismic velocity, density, composition, temperature, rheology)
2) Understand global dynamics (plate motion, mantle convection, thermal evolution) and overview of actual phenomena
3) understand characteristics of seismic waves
4) understand source process of earthquakes
5) understand seismotectonics beneath Japan


Earth, Seismic wave, Elastic constant, attenuation, velocity model, fault, fault-plane solution, density, temperature, composition, convection system, volcanism, plate motion

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The first 7 classes introduce large-scale structure and dynamics in the Earth (Lecturer is Prof. Iwamori), and subsequent 8 classes focus on seismic wave propagation and source process of earthquakes (Lecturer is Prof. Nakajima).

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Global structure (1): seismic wave and layered structures seismic wave propagation and its relation to Earth's properties
Class 2 Global structure (2): density, momentum of inertia and material structures gravitational compression, momentum of inertia, and phase transformation
Class 3 Global structure (3): thermal structure various methods and estimates on thermal structure
Class 4 Global structure (4): rheological structure rheology of rocks and its relation to global dynamics
Class 5 Global dynamics (1): energy and motion of the Earth's interior energy sources driving global dynamics
Class 6 Global dynamics (2): seafloor spreading and plate motion crustal heat flow (continent, ocean), seafloor spreading, and plate tectonics
Class 7 Global dynamics (3): mantle convection and thermal evolution mantle convection, and overview of global dymamics and evolution
Class 8 Seismology and theory of elasticity Fundamental seismology and the theory of elasticity
Class 9 Fundamental nature of seismic waves Characteristics of seismic waves derived from the theory of elasticity
Class 10 Propagation of seismic waves and internal structure Propagation of seismic waves
Class 11 Hypocenter and fault movement Hypocenter determination and fault movement
Class 12 Ground motion and magnitude of earthquakes Size of earthquakes and scaling law
Class 13 Seismicity beneath Japan (1): Crustal and megathrust earthquakes Seismicity beneath Japan and its relation to tectonic condition
Class 14 Seismicity beneath Japan (2): Intraslab earthquakes Seismicity in subducting oceanic plates
Class 15 Seismicity beneath Japan (3) : Seismotectonics beneath Kanto The unique tectonics beneath Kanto


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

None required.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' course scores are based on final exams and reports.

Related courses

  • EPS.B201 : Mathematics for Physics A (EPS course)
  • EPS.B330 : Fluid Mechanics (EPS course)
  • EPS.B202 : Thermodynamics (EPS course)
  • EPS.B203 : Mechanics (EPS course)
  • EPS.L202 : Laboratory in Earth and Planetary Sciences (petrology)
  • EPS.B210 : Mathematics for Physics B (EPS course)

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

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