Earth and Planetary Sciences 131




Fall Quarter, 2022


John Rundle

Professor of Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences


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 videos and other hazards commentary at the Global Hazards News Feed

Resource: Association of Pacific Rim Universities Multihazards Hub


Get Adobe Acrobat Reader


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


Current News Items

Atmospheric River and Bomb Cyclone 10/24/2021

Bomb Cyclone Hits New England 10/27/2021

Global Carbon Emissions 11/12/2021

Bill Gates Move to Nuclear Power

Week of:


Reading Assignment


(Refers to 8th Edition)

Weekly Questions

1 September 19

Introduction to Natural Disasters

Introductory Video on Natural Disasters 2020

Living in Cities

Geoff West on Cities-I

Geoff West on Cities-II

Nat Geo Video on the Origin of the Sun and Planets

Nat Geo Video on the Origin of Earth

Nat Geo Video on Plate Tectonics

Video on Plate Tectonics I

Video on Plate Tectonics II

PBS Video on Plate Tectonics

Chapter 1

(Lectures 1,2 in folders)

Questions on Introduction

2 September 26

Earth Structure and Origin

Earthquake Science

Earthquakes 101 (Nat Geo)

Volcanoes 101 (Nat Geo)

Seismology 101 (Caltech)

Seismic Waves (Khan Academy)

Seismic Focal Mechanisms ("Beachballs")

Hawaiian Earthquakes

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 October 3

Earthquake Science (cont.)
Catastrophic Earthquakes

A Trip Down Market Street, April 14, 1906

Great Sumatra Earthquake 2004

Earthquakes in Puerto Rico

The Great 1964 Alaska Earthquake (IRIS 6:42)

The Great 1964 Alaska Earthquake (USGS 11:53)

Five Largest Earthquakes

Five Most Dangerous US Earthquake Hotspots Beyond California

Human Impacts of Haiti Earthquake (UN)

Geology of Haiti Earthquake (WHOI)

Response to Nepal Earthquake

Surviving Earthquakes

Timelapse of Earthquakes Since 1950

Earthquake Early Warning

How Good are Early Warning Systems?


Earthquake Focal Mechanisms

Chapter 4

(Lectures 8-10 in folders)

Questions on Catastrophic Earthquakes

4 October 10

Tohoku Earthquake
Fukushima Meltdown

Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

Tohoku Earthquake (Nat Geo, 3:34)

Liquefaction Makuhari (3:07)

Liquefaction Chiba (2:38)

Fukushima 5 Years Later

Japanese Videos of Tohoku Earthquake

Fukushima Meltdown (IAEA, 2016)

Fukushima Meltdown (IAEA, 7/2021)

Fukushima Damaged Reactors 10 Years On (Science, 3/2021)

Return to Fukushima (Nat Geo: 13:53)

Understanding the Fukushima Disaster (13:02)

Chapter 5

(Lectures 11,12 in folders)

Questions on Tohoku EQ
5 October 17

Earthquake Forecasting

How Tsunamis Work

Potential Hawaiian Tsunami (2:00)

Potential East Coast Tsunamis (6:00)

Japan Tsunami 2011 (Nat Geo)

Japan Tsunami (16 min)

Japan Tsunami (40 min)

Japan Tsunami (16 min, in Japanese)

La Palma Tsunami (Steve Ward 4 min)

Nuuanu Hawaii Mega Tsunami 1.5Ma (Steve Ward 5 min)

Why are Earthquakes Hard to Predict?

InSAR: Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry

InSAR: Geotechnical Applications

Chapter 8

Questions on Tsunamis
6 October 24


La Palma Eruption, Canary Islands, 2021

Eruption of Mt. St. Helens (3:47)

Eruption of Mt. St. Helens (7:17)

Eruption of Mt. St. Helens (45:00)

Volcanoes 102 (Nat Geo)

Eruption of Kilauea (2018) - I

Eruption of Kilauea (2018) - II

Super Volcanoes 101 (Nat Geo)

Eruption of Sierra Negra Volcano with Lava Rivers (Nat Geo)

Krakatau Eruption 2018

White Island 2019

White Island Eruption (44 mins) 2019

Icelandic Volcano

Eruption of Mt. Etna

Geology of Long Valley

Potential Eruption Long Valley

America's Dangerous Volcanoes

Chapter 6,7

Questions on Volcanoes

7 October 31

Introduction to the Atmosphere

Atmospheric Structure

Overview of the Atmosphere

Layers of the Atmosphere

Energy Balance

Air Pollution Health Effects

Chapters 9,12

Questions on Atmospheric Structure

Guidelines for Paper

Example Paper

First Paper Due on Solid Earth Hazards:
Friday October 21

8 November 7  

Atmospheric Science and Dynamics

Ocean Dynamics

Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics (Paul Ullrich, UCD)

Coriolis Effect

Coriolis Effect (Met Office)

Weather (Met Office)

Weather Fronts (Met Office)

The Jet Stream Explained (Met Office)

Global Circulations I (Met Office)

Global Circulations II (Met Office)

Global Circulations III (Met Office)

Ozone Hole (NASA)

Ozone Depletion (Nat Geo)

How to Read Synoptic Charts

What are Weather Fronts? (Met Office)

Polar Vortex (Nat Geo)

Ocean Conveyor

Ocean Conveyor (Nat Geo Ballard)

Ocean Currents

Is the Gulf Stream Collapsing? (13:32)

What if Gulf Stream Shut Down?

Lecture on Slowing Down of Gulf Stream, by Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf (U. Potsdam, 27:00, includes movie clips from Day After Tomorrow)

Lecture on Rising Seas, by Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf (U. Potsdam, 31:00)

Why Don't the Oceans Mix?

Global Temperature Anomalies from 1880 to 2020

Chapters 10,11,13


Questions on Atmospheric Science

Questions on Ocean Dynamics
9 November 14


Global Warming
Atmospheric Modes

Movie Trailer for Merchants of Doubt

Erik Conway Slides

Global Warming I (Nat Geo)

Global Warming II (Nat Geo)

Global Warming III (Nat Geo)

Global Warming 101 (Nat Geo)

Causes and Effects of Climate Change (Nat Geo)

Climate Change Terminology


ENSO II (Met Office)

ENSO Walker Circulation

ENSO (Nat Geo)

Understanding ENSO (Bureau of Meteorology)

North Atlantic Oscillation (MET Office)

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (MET Office)

Pacific Decadal Oscillation (Met Office)

North Atlantic Oscillation (Met Office)

Madden Julian Oscillation (AU Met)

Pacific Decadal Oscillation (Met Office)

Milankovich Cycles

Antarctica is Losing Ice (PBS)

What if Greenland Melted?

Possible Collapse of Thwaites Glacier

Origin of Ice Ages (Volcanoes: 10:58)

What if All the Ice Melted? (2:54)

Impacts on the Antarctic (Interactive)

Change in Global Temps (Washington Post)

2011 Tornado Outbreak Video

Questions on Global Warming

Questions on Modes

10 November 21

Tropical Cyclones

Catastrophic Cyclones

Formation of Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclones

Notable Tropical Cyclones

Doomed New Orleans

Flooding of New Orleans

Future of New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina 15 Years Later

Ivan Predicted Hurricane Disaster

A Flight with the 53rd Weather Recon Squadron

Superstorm Sandy 2012

Recovery from Super Typhoon Haiyan


Tornadoes 101 (Nat Geo)

Tornado Videos

Tornado in Davis, CA 9/29/2019

Five Largest Flash Floods

Wildfires (Nat Geo)

Wildfire Science (WSJ)

Western Wildfires 2020

California Wildfires 2020 I

California Wildfires 2020 II

Chapters 14, 15

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

Flood Risk in Sacramento:
(Washington Post)

Interactive Flood Plain Maps

Calfire Incidents

Questions on Tropical Cyclones

Questions on Catastrophic Cyclones

Questions on Miscellaneous Disasters


11 November 28
Disaster Economics
Disaster Response
Bolide Impacts

Nova Program on Chixulub Impact (120 min)

Nova Chixulub Impact Teaser(:30)

Extinction Level Bolide Impact Animation

Meteorite Strikes Russia

Chelyabinsk Meteorite (NASA)

How the Dinosaurs went Extinct

Simulation of Chicxulub Impact (S.Ward)

Landslides (Nat Geo)

10 Massive Landslides

Disasters Economics

Effect of Disasters on Economic Growth

Disaster Response

Association of Pacific Rim Universities Multihazards Hub

  Second Paper Due on Atmospheric or Other Hazards:
Monday December 5