Earth and Planetary Sciences 131




Winter Quarter, 2019


John Rundle

Professor of Physics and Geology


Above: Tsunami from Magnitude 9.1 Earthquake on March 11, 2011


Video of Tsunami Inundation


(NHK Image and Video)

Course Syllabus

Lectures can be found in the folders HERE

Also, please see the videos and other hazards commentary, the global hazards news feed, and the global earthquake forecast and US hazard viewer.


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Please note that course work can be turned into Professor Rundle on the class Canvas site by 5:00 pm on the due date.

Please also refer to the code of academic conduct

Week of:


Reading Assignment


(Refers to 8th Edition)

Weekly Questions

1 January 7

Introduction to Natural Disasters

Introductory Video on Natural Disasters

Living in Cities

Geoff West on Cities-I

Geoff West on Cities-II

Chapter 1

(Lectures 1,2 in folders)

Questions on Introduction

2 January 14

Earth Structure and Origin

Video on the Origin of Earth

Earthquake Science

Chapters 2,3

(Lectures 3-7 in folders)

See Especially:
Lecture 4-6 Summary
Lecture 7

NY Times article on how the poor are most affected by natural disasters

Questions on Earth Structure

Questions on Earthquake Science
3 January 21

Earthquake Science (cont.)
Catastrophic Earthquakes

Chapter 4

(Lectures 8-10 in folders)

Questions on Catastrophic Earthquakes

4 January 28

Tohoku Earthquake
Fukushima Meltdown

Fukushima 5 Years Later

Chapter 5

(Lectures 11,12 in folders)

Questions on Tohoku EQ
5 February 4

Earthquake Forecasting

Japan Tsunami (16 min)

Japan Tsunami (40 min)

Chapter 8

Questions on Tsunamis
6 February 11


First Exam: Friday February 15

Eruption of Kilauea (2018) - I

Eruption of Kilauea (2018) - II

Introduction to the Atmosphere

Chapter 6,7

Questions on Volcanoes

7 February 18

Atmospheric Structure

Chapters 9,12

Questions on Atmospheric Structure

Guidelines for Paper

Example Paper

Paragraph description of course project due February 22

8 February 25  

Atmospheric Science
Ocean Dynamics

Chapters 10,11,13


Questions on Atmospheric Science

Questions on Ocean Dynamics
9 March 4


Global Warming
Atmospheric Modes

2011 Tornado Outbreak Video

Questions on Global Warming

Questions on Modes

10 March 11

Tropical Cyclones

Catastrophic Cyclones


Second Exam: Friday March 15

Chapters 14, 15

New York Times Article:
"In Nature's Casino"

Flood Risk in Sacramento:
(Washington Post)

Interactive Flood Plain Maps

Questions on Tropical Cyclones

Questions on Catastrophic Cyclones

Questions on Miscellaneous Disasters


11 If Time Permits Landslides
Disaster Economics
Disaster Response

  Course Projects Due:
5:00 pm Monday March 18