Provisional schedule for Natural Hazards and Catastrophes Spring 2013

Pat Pringle, instructor; The following is the rough order of topics we’ll cover. Dates may be shifted as we progress. 

Important Dates:        Saturday, May 25th: Mount St. Helens field trip (--all day: 8:30 AM to ~ 6:00 PM) MANDATORY

                                     June 7, Thursday, Last day to turn in field report for Mount St. Helens trip.

               NOTE: I don't have my v. 9 with me, so I can't be sure the chapter numbers are all the same. Go by the topics for now...


Week 1:  Chapter 1: Human disasters, world population, carrying capacity, and the scientifc method.

Week 2: Chapter 2: Formation of the Earth, Earth history, Earth structure,  sediment and rocks, internal heat sources, and plate tectonics (the grand unifying theory of geology)

Beginning of week 3: Test 1 on Chaps 1 and 2 ~   (If make progress, we could start volcanoes and Chap.  6 as early as the end of week 2)

Week 3: Chapter 6, Volcanic eruptions; plate tectonics and magma,
chemical and physical properties of magma, explosive vs. effusive eruptions, volcanic landforms; plate tectonics setting of volcanoes.

Week 4: Chapter 7, Volcano case histories,
how volcanoes erupt, volcanic processes and hazards volcanic hazards,  volcano monitoring and predictions,  volcanic hazard assessment and forecasts. Volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest.

Week 5:Test 2 on volcanoes;   Read Chap. 3; Earthquakes: causes of earthquakes, frequency and wavelength, magnitude & intensity, epicenter, stress & strain, elastic rebound theory, faults; Earthquake Size. Hazards and effects: liquefaction, strong ground motion, etc.

Weeks 5-6 and part of 7, earthquakes: Chapter 3: Earthquake Geology and seismology, chapter 4: Plate tectonics and earthquakes, chapter 5 regional aspects of hazards in the US and Canada. Abbot spends a lot of time on CA hazards; I cover those but also spend more time on the Pacific NW, Cascadia. I cover the tsunami aspects too, but take only selected parts of his chapter given that we are on quarters. You can’t do it all. This topic will take at least two weeks, and I may try to squeeze in chapter 15 Mass movements (landslides etc) in at the end [see end of Week 7 below]. Misc. topics include: Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest: Cascadia subduction zone quakes, deep earthquakes from the subducting slab, Seattle fault and shallow crustal fault earthquakes; paleoseismology


Week 7:Read Chap. ?. Mass wasting: landslides, slope stability, angle of repose, & landslide triggers; classification of landslide movement,; creep, slumps, slides, flows, landslide hazards and hazard assessment.  Misc: types of mass movement: debris flows, slumps, rockslides, debris avalanches. Man, gravity is pulling it all down, fast or slow, earth, debris, or rock, in a variety of manners!!!!

Week 8: –  Read selected parts of Chaps. 10-14 Climate, climate change, and weather-related processes and hazards; floods and flooding;

Week 9: – Coastal geologic processes and hazards; hurricanes and extreme weather phenomena, climate change and climate history;

Week 10:   Chaps 16-18: Wildfire; meteor and comet impacts; humankind and natural hazards.

Week 11: – Day of Class: Wrap up and review for final. LAST CLASS DAY, June 10th; then finals

Updated on April 1, 2013