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1 Proposal: number 159

159. GEOL 16: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Moving Continents

Contact:Allan Ludman
Abstract:Geology 16 examines the observations and reasoning that, after a span of more
than 400 years, led 20th century geoscientists to develop the astonishing plate
tectonic theoryСthat the outermost 100km of the Earth comprises several
blocks (ТplatesУ) capable of moving independently of one another. Students
will revisit simple observations, such as the apparent fit of the east coast of
South America with the west coast of Africa in the light of modern geologic
knowledge, and learn how modern science and technology provided the most
conclusive evidence based on EarthХs ancient magnetic field.

The importance of plate tectonics as a unifying theory in Geology is presented,
showing how previously misunderstood or enigmatic questions are answered by
this theory, and how it helps explain the causes of such apparently disparate
phenomena as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These natural processes become
natural disasters when they affect populated areas, and the course not only
examines the plate tectonic causes of these phenomena, but also why they can be
so devastating.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
GEOL 16 2010-02-24 NS Submitted Dept
GEOL 16 2010-05-12 NS Approved GEAC
GEOL 16 2010-09-16 NS Approved UCC
GEOL 16 2010-10-14 NS Approved Senate