EARTH 320: Global Tectonics

Course Details

Kinematics of plate tectonics. Geometry, determination, and description of plate motions. Paleomagnetism, marine magnetism, and hot spots. History of ocean basins and mountain-building processes. Prerequisites: EARTH 202 and PHYSICS 135-2; or consent of instructor.

Professors: Seth Stein

Required Texts

Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Earth Structure by S. Stein and M. Wysession (Blackwell Publishing, 2003).


Problem Sets


Portable electronic devices may not be used in class. You may discuss homework with each other, but are expected to work and do your writeups independently. Problem sets are due one week after being assigned. Make-ups are ONLY allowed by advance arrangements through the Office of Studies. Late work will be penalized no less than 50%. As per university policy, class attendance is expected and required.

Course Handouts:

Lecture 1, Introduction: ppt1, ppt2ppt3, pdf

Lecture 2, Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism: pptpdf

Lecture 3, Measuring Plate Motions:  ppt1ppt2, ppt3, pdf

Lecture 4, Plate Motions on a Spherical Earth: ppt, pdf

Lecture 5, Absolute Plate Motions & Hotspots:  ppt, pdf

Lecture 6, Earthquake Focal Mechanisms and Plate Motions: pptpdf

Lecture 7, Geodesy for Tectonic and Earthquake Studies: ppt1ppt2ppt3pdf

Lecture 8, Spreading Centers: pptpdf

Lecture 9, Subduction Zones: pptpdf

Lecture 10, Plate Boundary Zones & Plate Motion Changes: ppt1ppt2pdf

Lecture 11 Continental Intraplate Earthquakes: A Science, Hazard, and Policy Challenge: pptpdf

Lecture 12, Faulting & Deformation: ppt, pdf