Earth and Planetary Sciences 7 (Fall 2006):

Introduction to Geological Sciences

Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay

Professor Adam M. Dziewonski

Meeting place: Geological Museum 102 (Haller Hall)

Meeting time: MWF, 10:00-11:00


Administrative Details

Online Reading and Handouts (restricted access)

Field Trip Photos

Figure: Schematic cross-section of the Earth, including the recently discovered "innermost inner core" (small red sphere at center). It has been known for decades that the Earth has a liquid outer core and a solid inner core, both primarily made up of iron. Prof. Dziewonski and seismology graduate student Miaki Ishii used 30 years of earthquake data to detect this small sphere (300-km in diameter) through which seismic waves travel differently than they do through the rest of the inner core. The innermost inner core may be leftover from the Earth's formation 4.6 billion years ago, which would make it the oldest unaltered matter in our planet.

Brief course description:

An introduction to Earth science designed for concentrators in geological, environmental, and geophysical sciences. Origin of the Earth, its age and its evolution with an emphasis on the processes that shaped our planet. The theory of plate tectonics is used as a broad framework to explain the occurrence and distribution of earthquakes, volcanoes and mountains, and to explore the history of the Earth's surface. Labs and the weekend field trip familiarize students with rock types, geological features, and maps, and expose them to how geologists infer processes from the rock record. Three hours of laboratory work per week and two day-long field trips on separate weekends are required.

Also appropriate for non-EPS concentrators who desire a comprehensive introduction to Earth science; this course may be substituted for the Science A requirement.
Catalog Number: 0918; Exam Group: 3

Send email to course teaching staff:
Prof. Sujoy Mukhopadhyay    Prof. Adam Dziewonski    TF: Laurel Senft    TF: Veronika Soukhovitskaya    TF: Robert Ackert

Web page contact:
Laurel Senft, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, copyright ©2006, all rights reserved
(last modified 2006/09/11)