USU Geology 5690/6690 Course Materials, Spring 2021

Course Syllabus

ASPECT Modeling Resources

Class Meets MWF, 08:30-09:20 in Geology 101

Reading Assignments:

  • For 3 February: Furlong & Chapman (2013) Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 41, 385-410
  • For 17 February: Roy et al., Nature, 459, 978-982
  • For 26 February: Kellogg et al., Science, 283(5409), 1881-1884
  • For 10 March: Becker et al. (2015) Nature, 524(7566), 458-461
  • For 17 March: Lamb et al. (2020) Geochem. Geophys. Geosys., 21(10), #e2020GC009150
  • For 24 March: Liu & Hasterok, Science, 353(6307), 1515-1519
  • For 31 March: Houston, Nature Geoscience, 8(5), 409-415
  • For 8 April: Willett et al., Nature, 314, 520-523
  • For 19 April: Mierdel et al. (2007) Science 315, 364-368
  • For 26 April: Schutt & Lesher (2006) J. Geophys. Res. 111 (B5)


  • Assignments:

  • Due 8 March at 8:30 am Exercises 1
  • & Answer key...
  • Due 5 May at 5pm: Exercises 2 and Answer key...
  • Grad presentations will be held during the scheduled final exam time for our time-slot, Monday, May 3, 8:00 am. Project reports will be due Thursday May 6 at 5 pm.


  • PowerPoint Lectures and UPDATED Schedule:

  • 20 January: Introduction: Geophysics, Isostasy
  • 22 January: Isostasy, Concepts of Lithosphere
  • 25 January: Introduction to Thermal Transfer
  • 27 January: Surface Heat Flow & Conductive Thermal Transfer
  • 29 January: Rock Thermal Properties (Conductivity & Heat Production)
  • 1 February: On Critical Thinking
  • 3 February: Furlong & Chapman (2013)
  • 5 February: Geotherm Effects of Heat Production; Seismic + Mineral Physics Constraints
  • 8 February: Topography & Time-Dependence in Thermal Transfer
  • 10 February: The Adiabiat
  • 12 February: Convective Flow
  • 17 February: Roy et al. (Rachel's ppt)
  • 19 February: More on W.U.S. thermal
  • 22 February: Diapirs & Downwellings (Rayleigh-Taylor Instabilities)
  • 24 February: Geophysical expression of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities?
  • 26 February: Kellogg et al. (Chloe's pdf)
  • 1 March: More on drips...
  • 3 March: Drips; Rheology
  • 5 March: Rheology
  • 8 March: Creep rheology: Temperature, lithology, or water?
  • 10 March: Becker et al. (Ema's discussion ppt)
  • 15 March: Earthquake System Science: What Would We Need?
  • 17 March: Lamb et al. (Amanda's discussion ppt)
  • 19 March: Physical State Reliance on Imaging
  • 22 March: Physical State and Flow Rheology; Brittle Failure
  • 24 March: Liu & Hasterok (Skadi's ppt)
  • 26 March: Brittle-field Rheology
  • 29 March: Dynamical Friction & the Earthquake Cycle
  • 31 March: Houston 2015 (Ryker's discussion ppt)
  • 2 April: Friction: Seismic & Geologic Observations
  • 5 April: Isostasy
  • 7 April: Flexural Isostatic Analysis of Loading
  • 8 April: Willett et al. (Clay's ppt)
  • 12 April: Dynamic (and Crustal) Elevation...
  • 14 April: Asthenospheric Buoyancy?
  • 16 April: Relating Flexural Rigidity to Rheology
  • 19 April: Mierdel et al (Alex's ppt)
  • 21 April: Flexural Rigidity & Rheology
  • 23 April: Definitions of Lithosphere revisited; Plates; "Tectosphere"
  • 26 April: Schutt & Lesher (Connor's ppt)