Active Tectonics and Geodesy
William Barnhart, Assistant Professor
The University of Iowa

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Solid Earth Seminar


An informal department seminar open to all students, faculty, and staff. This seminar is designed to give speakers the opportunity to share their current, upcoming, and ongoing research, practice conference and defense talks, or to float new ideas by a greater department audience. Seminar slots are available to visiting speakers who may want to give a technical, brown bag lecture in addition to their department-wide seminars.


Fall 2015 Schedule

EES 3100: Introduction to Applied Remote Sensing


Remote sensing techniques have evolved to be one of the most important components of the tool box of earth and environmental scientists. Remotely  sensing images are able to detail a broad spectrum of characteristics about the Earth and extra-planetary surfaces: Vegetation type and health, geological formations and ore/mineral compositions, water chemistry and biomass concentration, sources and sinks of heat, and dynamic changes caused by volcanoes, earthquakes, and landslides. This course provides a broad introduction to the fundamentals of remote sensing. Lectures cover the basic physics behind remote sensing, various remote sensing strategies, and earth and environmental science applications. Labs are devoted to hands-on manipulation and analysis of remote sensing imagery using a suite of computer tools. Topics covered include: Aerial and satellite remote sensing, optical, thermal, radar, and LiDAR remote sensing systems, remote sensing of the terrestrial environmental, geosphere, and hydrosphere, and geodetic remote sensing.


Offered: Spring yearly

Credit hours: 4

EES 4230: Special Topics: Quantitative Methods in the Geosciences


Most modern geoscientists quantitatively measure physical data taken directly from the Earth’s surface, such as sediment thickness, element concentration, and seismic travel times. These measurements reveal information about the Earth, but often indirectly. This course explores some of the quantitative methods commonly used in the geosciences to elucidate the utility of these measurements. The first part of this course focuses on the basic mathematics and statistics needed for quantitative analysis as well as a computational tool for implementing these techniques: Matlab. The second part is devoted to basic linear inverse theory methods that geoscientists use when faced with incomplete and noisy data sets. Inverse methods to be covered include minimization methods, maximum likelihood and generalized inversion, principal component analysis, and singular value decomposition. Examples are included from seismology, geochemistry, sedimentology, and fields related to individual research.


Offered: Fall odd years (2015, 2017,...)

Credit hours: 3

EES 4800: Solid Earth Geophysics


“Geophysics” is a general term that describes the broad field of disciplines concerned with characterizing the physical properties and processes within the Earth and other planetary bodies through quantitative analysis. Geophysical studies range in scale from the atomic (understanding deformation processes within single crystals) to the global (imaging the Earth’s lithosphere, asthenosphere, and core) and are applied to research across academia, natural hazards, energy industry, and federal and state governments. This course focus on the solid Earth geophysical core disciplines of Seismology, Gravity, Magnetism, Geodesy, and Heat Flow


Offered: Fall even years (2016, 2018,...)

Credit hours: 3

EES 6570: Tectonics and Petrology Seminar


This reading and discussions seminar focuses on a suite of classic papers published in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s that ushered in the plate tectonics revolution. Topics covered include the foundation and collapse of continental drift theory, global seismology and earthquake locations, geomagnetic reversals and seafloor bathymetry mapping, field studies and interpretations, and early geodynamics. The course aims to relive the piecing together of various observations from vastly different disciplines that eventually led to the current theory of plate tectonics.


Offered: Fall 2015

Credit hours: 1