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Geophysics, Tectonics and Seismology

Jackson et al (2008)
Different areas of the planet have extraordinarily different processes operating on them today: where there are mountain ranges the planet bends under the strain, and underground volcanic activity can cause whole regions to be elevated. Earthquakes have very specific distributions and depths around the Earth, and some areas have anomalies in gravity.

Second year field trip to Southwest England
Putting all these observations into a full theoretical framework not only requires us to learn in full about the development of the theory of Plate Tectonics, one of the pinnacles of achievement in the Earth Sciences in the last century, but also to appreciate and understand how the Earth can be modelled within the laws of fluid mechanics.

We shall see that detection of earthquakes plays a pivotal role in elucidating what is going on under our feet, and learn how to do this, using wave theory and optics.

Some of the geophysics courses are in later years, although the Part IA Plate Tectonics Course provides an historical background, as well as an substantial overview of the whole topic.