The table below shows what material we will cover on different days. For each day, items listed with a blue background show the topics we will cover, and those with a yellow background show what resources, available on Canvas, are relevant for that day's discussions. Check out the Items highlighted in bold on Wikipedia.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

No Class

January 17

Learning Outcomes


Global Seismology Poster (Both Sides)

January 22

What is an Earthquake?
Where and when did it occur?
1755 Lisbon, Portugal
1755 Boston (Cape Ann)
1783 Calabria, Italy 

Before 1811

Lyell v1 Chapter 24
Lyell v1 Chapter 25
Visual Represntatin in Eighteenth Century EQ Studies
Boston 1755.pdf

January 24

What are seismic waves?
What can we learn from them?
1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes 
1886 Charleston, South Carolina 

19th Century

Fact Sheet 09-3071
New Madrid Earthquake Sequence
20 Cool Facts about the NMSZ
1886 Charleston Earthquake Circular 985

January 29

What happens to a city in an Earthquake?

1906 San Francisco earthquake

Lawson Commission Report:
Volume I
Volume I Part 2
Volume II

January 31

How did the 1906 Earthquake Occur?
When will we hava another one?
Harry Fielding Reid

Elastic-rebound theory

HF Reid Handout

February 5

Structure of the Earth
Richter magnitude scale
Mercalli intensity scale
Moment magnitude scale

1906 - 1950

February 7

Locate Underground Nuclear Tests
2017 North Korean nuclear test

1950 - 1964

February 12

Focal mechanism
Distinquish Earthquakes from bomb tests
1964 Alaska Earthquake

Focal Plane Solutions

Alaska 1964 Regional effects pp. 543
Alaska 2002 Earthquake.pdf

February 14

Seafloor Spreading
Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis

1964 - 1973

HF Reid Handout

February 19

Graded Learning Opportunity

February 21

Plate tectonics
Transform fault
Fracture zone

Plate Tectonic Paradigm

TDP Booklet
Front and Back

February 26

Faults & Plate Boundaries


February 28

US EQs & Seismic Risk

Fact Sheet 08-3017_508.pdf
Fact Sheet 08-3018_508.pdf

March 5

Spring Break

March 7

Spring Break

March 12

Earthquakes in NY and the Northeast US

EQs in NE and in NY

Aggawal & Sykes.pdf
Barstow C-L fault.pdf
NE EQs Fact Sheet 0006-01.pdf
Fletcher & Sykes.pdf
Massena EQ.pdf

March 14

Earthquake Prediction

Earthquake Prediction

G.K. Gilbert EQs.pdf
Turcotte EQ Prediction.pdf
Kerr Animal EQ Prediction.pdf
Nuclear Power Plants and EQ in NY.pdf
 Blue Mountain Lake EQ Prediction.pdf
Kafka Exaggerated Prediction.pdf

March 19

NEGSA meeting in Burlington VT

The Great L.A. Earthquake

The Great L.A. Earthquake.rtf

March 21

1989 Loma Preata earthquake

Loma Prieta & Himalayas

Loma Prieta 1045

March 26

 Earthquake prediction
Earthquake forecasting

Simulation of EQ Prediction


March 28

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami 
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami


Boxing Day Sumatra 20041226.pdf
2011-04-05 Japan EQ.pdf

April 2


Graded Learning Opportunity


April 4

Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79

Historic Volcanoes

1600 Peru Eruption.pdf
Volcanic Woes may have Contributed...


April 9

Igneous rock
Bowen's reaction series

How do rocks melt?



April 11

1963 Surtsey
1973 Heimaey -Eldfell eruption
2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull 

Ridge Volcanoes



April 16


Subduction Zone Volcanoes

Toba Bottleneck Ambrose.pdf


April 18

1980 Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens


May 1

1783 Laki
1991 Mount Pinatubo

Volcanoes and Climate

GISP volcanic events 7000 yr.pdf
Robock Volcanoes Climate 2013 EOS.pdf
Robock Volcanoes Climate1998.pdf
Volcanism Greenland ice.pdf

May 3

 3:30 - 5:30 PM

Final Graded Learning Opportunity


There will be two one-hour-long Graded Learning Opportunities, each worth 25% of your grade, and a two-hour Final Graded Learning Opportunity, worth 50% of your grade. Exams will try to probe your understanding and comprehension of the material. (See Learning Outcomes.)

This syllabus represents my plan for the semester as of the first day of the semester. It is subject to change at my discretion. If you desire to see it modified to include additional material, or omit material which you believe has been adequately covered in some other course, please bring this to my attention as soon as possible.

Please note that attendance is not required. If you attend class, it is expected that you are there to learn what is being discussed. Therefore, if you need to write a paper, surf the web, text message your friends, or engage in other activities which are not part of our classroom discussion, please do not come to class.


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