Undergrad Education

ESYS 150: Environmental Perils

Instructors: John Sclater and David Hilton

Spring 2009

map of smugglers cove

A left step in Palos Verdes Drive South in Portuguese Bend, Los Angeles indicating left lateral ground movement. This massive Earthflow destroyed - 500 houses. The class will visit this still moving flow on the one-day field trip.

Mt. St. Helens (1980) - erupting!

mt st helens erupting

Types and Effects of Volcano Hazards. We will study the types of hazards commonly associated with volcanoes: ash fall-out, lahars, lava flow, pyroclastic flows, landslides, gas emissions.

Where And Basic Organization

3030 York Hall

Monday and Wednesday10:00-10:50 a.m.
Lab/Field Trips
Friday10:00-11:50 a.m.

How To Contact Us

Prof. John Sclater
858.534.3051Email: jsclater@ucsd.edu
Prof. David Hilton
858.822.0639Email: drhilton@ucsd.edu
TA Peter Barry
858.822.1867Email: pbarry@ucsd.edu
Administration: Ms. Pam Buaas
858.822.4604Email: pbuaas@ucsd.edu

Course Description

A non-major field-oriented course for engineering and science students stressing the geological basis for environmental perils, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, erosion, flooding and waste disposal. Two 50 min lectures and a two hour lab/field trip each week. One all-day field trip to a moving landslide in LA.

Philosophy Of The Course

To provide a field-oriented course for engineering and science majors on some of the potential or current environmental perils in Southern California. The course will be focused around the field trips and will stress a hands-on approach. The lectures and lab periods will provide the scientific framework and the background material for the field trips.



Plan Of The Course

The course will be taught by Profs John Sclater and David Hilton.. The course will involve preparatory lectures and a number of introductory labs before the field trips. There will be three Friday Labs, five Friday field trips and one all day field excursion leaving at 8:00 a.m, Saturday May 9th to a still moving landslide in Palos Verdes, Los Angeles. The lab sections and field trips are mandatory.

Office Hours

Professor Sclater will be available from 10:50-11:45 on Mondays following lecture. Students wishing to see the instructors at other times should contact them directly. We encourage students to ask questions during and after class and to schedule meetings with either the Professor or TA.

Laboratories And Field Trips

Lab and Field trip Reports are to be completed during the labs and field trips, and should be turned in at the beginning of the following Friday lab or field trip. Late work will not be accepted. We will organize where to meet for the field trips at the beginning of the first class.


Grading will be based on:
Laboratory and Field Trip Reports: 40%
Mid-Term: 30%
Final: 30%

Required Texts:

Patrick Abbot, Natural Disasters, 6th Ed.
McGraw Hill, 2008.

J. Kulongoski & B. Eakins, Environmental Hazards ERTH 150 Laboratory Manual, 3rd Ed.
Soft Reserves, 2003.

Suggested Reading:

P. Abbot and W. Elliot, Environmental Perils San Diego Reg. GSA, Annual Meeting, 1991.

P. Kearn, Earthquakes and Faults in San Diego County, San Diego State Press, 1989.

W. Hamblin and J. Howard, Exercises in Physical Geology, 9th Edition, Macmillan, 1995.

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Tentative Course Outline

WeekLecture Topics and (Reading List)Lecture/Lab/Field Trip
Mar 30 Disasters/Population/Energy sources (A1, A2)Lecture 1 - John Sclater
April 01Plate Tectonics (A2)Lecture 2 - John Sclater
April 03Geological Mapping (KE)Lab
April 05 Plate Tectonics: surface features (A3)Lecture 3 - John Sclater
April 08 Plate Tectonics: earthquakes (A3)Lecture 4 - John Sclater
April 10Faults (KE)
April 13Plate Tectonics: volcanoes (A8, A9)Lecture 5 - David Hilton
April 15Vol. Hazards (A8)/Rocks (HH 1-5)
Lecture 6 - David Hilton
April 17 SIO Beach Walk SouthField Trip
April 20Earthquake Geology/Seismology/Tsunami (A4, A5)Lecture 7 - John Sclater
April 22Western US Earthquakes (A6)Lecture 8 - John Sclater
April 24Minerals and Rocks (KE,HH1-5)Lab
April 27 San Diego Quakes (A6,K)Lecture 9 - John Sclater
April 29 Climate Change (A12)
Lecture 12 - David Hilton
May 01Rose Canyon FaultField trip
May 06 Weather (A11)
Lecture 13 - David Hilton
May 09
Saturday 09 Palos Verdes (A10)
Field Trip
May 11Hurricanes (A13)
Lecture 14 - David Hilton
May 13Hyrdrogeology (A14)
Lecture 15 - David Hilton
May 15SIO Cliff WalkField Trip
May 18
Hydrogeology (A14)
Lecture 14 - David Hilton
May 20Mass Wasting (A10)
Lecture 10 - John Sclater
May 22San Diego RiverField Trip
May 25Memorial Day(no class)
May 27 Coastal Processes (A10,A13)
Lecture 11 - John Sclater
May 29 Mirmar LandfillField Trip
June 01Great Dyings (A16)Lecture 17 - John Sclater
June 03Extra-terrestrial Impacts (A17)Lecture 18 - John Sclater
June 05To be announcedField Trip

Course Documents

Lecture 1 Summary - Disasters/Population/Energy sources


Reading List (Chapters)

A Abbot (2008)

KE Kulongoski & Eakins (2003)

K Kearn (1989)

HH Hamblin & Howard (1995)

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