This course will introduce the fundamental continuum physics applied in understanding the working of plate tectonics, mantle convection and a variety of geological processes. The material of the course contents will present the mathematical concepts as less as possible unless they are essential to understand the physical principles. They will cover basic elasticity and fluid mechanics involved in the studies of the bending of elastic plates, the heat transfer through conduction at thermal boundary layers and mantle convection, the two-phase porous flow applied in partial melting and magma generation, etc.
(1) Plate kinematics
Plate motion on a sphere, relative plate motion,
absolute plate motion.
(2) Elasticity and plate flexure
stresss and strain, bending or flexure of plates under
applied moments and vertical loads, application to the
earth’s lithosphere under the loads of island chains,
at an ocean trench an sedimentary basins.
(3) Heat transfer
Fourier’s law of heat conduction, the earth’s surface
heat flux, cooling of the oceanic lithosphere,
solidification of dikes, thermal stress, subsidence of
seafloor topography and sedimentary basins.
(4) Fluid mechanics
Consevation of mass, momentum and energy, the stream
function, 1-D channel flow, postglacial rebound,
stoke’s flow, thermal convection, boundary layer
theory, linear stability analysis, the forces that
drive mantle convection.
(5) Flow in porous media
Darcy’s law, permeability models, porous flow model for
melt migration, two-phase convection.
二、先修課程:Calculus, Freshman Physics
Dynamic earth: plates, plumes and mantle convection by Geoffrey Davies,Cambridge University Press, 1999.Geodynamics: Applications of continuum physics to geological problems by D.L Turcotte and G. Schuber, John Wiley & Sons, 1982.