EPSC 520, Winter 2017
EPSC 320 Elementary Earth Physics and MATH 233 Calculus
3 or their equivalents
Basic knowledge in structural geology.
Yajing Liu, FDA 339, 5143984085, yajing[dot]liu[at]mcgill.ca
Course website
http://eps.mcgill.ca/~courses/c550
Two 1.5hour meetings per week
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
12:30 PM, Room FDA 211
See Weekly lecture schedule (tentative) below
2 computer labs (30%), 2 paper discussion lead (20%), a presentation on term
project (10%) and a term paper (40%).
·
Computer
laboratory exercises (2 labs, 15% each), 30%
o Students can work in teams on these computer laboratory
exercises, but are required to acknowledge their collaborators in the turnedin
assignments.
o See the attached Weekly
Schedule for details of each computer lab exercise.
·
Presentations
(lead discussion of 2 papers, 10% each, term project presentation 10%), Total:
30%
o Each week 23 papers relevant to lecture topics are assigned
as reading materials. Student form groups (typically, 23 per group; group
members can change each week). Each student will lead discussions of 2 papers
assigned to their group, and is expected to demonstrate ability to synthesize
articles and stimulate discussion with insightful questions. 20%.
o The endofterm presentation will be based on the term
project conducted by each student. Presentations will be 20 minutes each, plus
10 minutes for questions and discussion, in a similar format to those at
scientific meetings and professional conferences. Students will be evaluated
upon logical organization, effective communication and ability to address
questions and comments from the audience. 10%.
·
Term paper:
40%
o In the 1^{st} week, through instructor suggestion
and class discussion, a list of potential project ideas will be constructed and
circulated among the class.
o Students are required to choose one project from the list
and submit, by the end of 2^{nd} week, a onepage proposal to briefly
outline the outstanding questions, possible methodology and expected outcome of
their projects. Instructors will review the proposals to assess their
feasibility, and the students will revise and submit the final version by the
end of 4^{th} week.
o The initial version of the term paper, based on the term project,
is due by 11^{th} week, before “Student Presentation” week. Instructors
will comment on the structure and content of this version and return it to
students for revisions.
o The final version of the term paper is due in the 14^{th}
week, one week after student presentations.
o The term paper can be based on, but not limited to, the
seismic/geodetic techniques learned and results obtained through one of the two
computer laboratory exercises. Students are encouraged to conduct original
research projects. They are indeed encouraged to discuss with the instructors
how to acquire additional data, or conduct more model simulations, beyond those
provided in the labs, or to develop their lab reports into term papers. Students can collaborate in groups,
provided the final jointly written paper includes an addendum detailing the
contributions of each author.
o The paper will be ~5000 words total (including references,
captions, notes, etc. in Word count.), written in the style of a journal article
such as Geology or Science with complete and proper citations.
1.
Stein, S.
and Wysession, M., “An introduction to seismology,
earthquakes and earth structure”, WileyBlackwell Publishing, 2003.
2.
Scholz, C. H., “The mechanics of earthquakes and faulting”,
Cambridge University Press, 2^{nd} edition, 2002.
3.
Lay, T. and
Wallace, T. C., “Modern global seismology”, Vol. 58 in “International
geophysics series”, ed. by R. Dmowska and J. R.
Holton, Academic Press, 1995.
4.
Aki, K. and
Richards, P. G., “Quantitative seismology”, University Science Books, 2^{nd}
edition, 2002.
5.
Weekly
assignment of research articles from journals such as Nature, Science, Geology, Geophysics Research Letters, Journal of
Geophysical Research.
Weekly
lecture schedule (tentative):
Week 
Date 
Topics 
Lecturer 
Exercises/Handouts 
Notes 
Reading List (to be updated) 
1 
01/05 
Organizational meeting, discussion of potential
topics for term projects. 
Liu 
Distribute a list of suggested
topics by the instructor 


2 
01/10 
Review of
elasticity, elastodynamics; Earthquake source characteristics: (1) focal
mechanism and moment tensor, magnitude and moment, (2) source spectra, rupture directivity, energy budget 
Liu 

3 
01/17 
Earthquake source characteristics: (3) earthquake
statistics (GutenbergRichter relation, Omori's law), scaling relations,
earthquake probability calculation 
Liu 
Research proposal due 

4 
01/24 
Introduction to seismic signal processing (1) Fourier
transform, frequency filter, convolution, error analysis, spectral analysis,
corner frequency and stress drop estimates 
Liu 
Computer Lab
1: seismic signal analysis 

5 
01/31 
Introduction to seismic signal processing (2) focal
mechanism solutions (firstarrivals and waveform inversion), seismicity
relocation, waveform crosscorrelation, (3) make GMT plots. 
Liu 
Return commented proposals, finalize research project
topics 

6 
02/07 
Earthquake cycle deformation, a spectrum of fault
slip from steady loading to dynamic rupture, different ways to observe
earthquake cycle deformation (seismometers, GPS, InSAR...), interplate and
intraplate earthquakes 
Liu 
Computer Lab 2: (1) Geodetic inversion using
Plate Boundary Observatory GPS time series, application to slow slip events
in Cascadia subduction zone, or, (2) Earthquake stress transfer calculation
using USGS Coulomb stress software. 
Possibly to merge
with interuniversity course EPSC 551: “ANATOMY OF FAULT ZONES” (lecture time
changes to Mondays 1:303:30PM for two weeks: 02/07 and 02/14) TO BE CONFIRMED 

7 
02/14 
Triggered and induced seismicity, static and dynamic
perturbations, Coulomb stress calculation. 
Liu 
Computer Lab 1 due 

8 
02/21 
Earthquake rupture process: fracture mechanics and
friction (lab and model) 
Liu 

9 
02/28 
Reading week, no class 




10 
03/06 
Slow earthquakes and supershear ruptures 
Liu 
Computer Lab 2 due 

11 
03/13 
Earthquake Geology 1 (Fault friction, strength,
brittleductile transition, effects of temperature and pressure at depths) 
Rowe (?) 
Possibly to merge
with interuniversity course EPSC 551: “ANATOMY OF FAULT ZONES” (lecture time
changes to Mondays 1:303:30PM for two weeks: 02/07 and 02/14) TO BE CONFIRMED 

12 
03/21 
Earthquake Geology 2 (topics: fault
drilling projects. Sedimentary records and paleoseismology?) 
Rowe (?) 
Term paper draft due (week 12) 

13 
03/28 
Volcanic earthquakes and nonvolcanic tremors. 
Harrington (?) 
May move class to an earlier time (March 27?) 

14 
04/04 
Glacier earthquakes and
transient ice sheet deformation. Outstanding questions in seismology.
Earthquake prediction, early warning, earthquake engineering. 
Liu 
Return commented papers (week 14) 

15 
04/11 04/13 
Student presentations 






Classes end on April 11
(Tuesday) 
McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore,
all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating,
plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and
Disciplinary Procedures (see www.mcgill.ca/students/srr/honest
for more information). In accord with McGill University's Charter of Students'
Rights, students in this course have the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to be graded. Your
instructors reserve the right to verify the originality of submitted work.