Earth and Planetary Sciences 131


Fall 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 Beginning:




(Refers to 8th Edition)

Weekly Questions

1 September 23, September 30

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 October 7

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

NY Times article on seismic safety building techniques (base isolation)

Questions on Earth Structure

Questions on Earthquake Science
3 October 14

Earthquake Science (cont.)
Catastrophic Earthquakes

Chapter 4

(Lectures 8-10 in folders)

Questions on Catastrophic Earthquakes

4 October 21

Tohoku Earthquake
Fukushima Meltdown

Fukushima 5 Years Later

Chapter 5

(Lectures 11,12 in folders)

Questions on Tohoku EQ
5 October 28

Earthquake Forecasting

Japan Tsunami (16 min)

Japan Tsunami (40 min)

Chapter 8

Questions on Tsunamis
6 November 4


Eruption of Kilauea (2018) - I

Eruption of Kilauea (2018) - II

Introduction to the Atmosphere

First Exam: Monday November 4

Chapter 6,7

Questions on Volcanoes

7 November 11

Atmospheric Structure

Chapters 9,12

Questions on Atmospheric Structure

Guidelines for Paper

Example Paper

Paragraph description of course project due November 22

8 November 18

Atmospheric Science
Ocean Dynamics

Chapters 10,11,13


Questions on Atmospheric Science

Questions on Ocean Dynamics
9 November 25


Global Warming
Atmospheric Modes

2011 Tornado Outbreak Video

Questions on Global Warming

Questions on Modes

10 December 2

Tropical Cyclones

Catastrophic Cyclones


Second Exam: Friday December 6

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
Disaster Economics
Disaster Response

  Course Projects Due:
5:00 pm Monday December 9
on Canvas