UE Waves and dynamics of the earth

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Degrees incorporating this pedagocial element :


This course provides an introduction to physical processes at work in the Earth, viewed as a complex medium (seismic waves and imaging) and a collection of dynamical systems (convection, rotation, and magnetic field). These two themes are at the heart of active research today, in particular at UGA. Waves in solids and liquids form the intersection of the two approaches. The course proposes a cool physical approach of these problems, with basic solid and fluid dynamics concepts, exercises, and practicals. A journal club opens to recent research areas. This course is recommended to physics students who wish to specialize in geophysics at some time in their cursus.

Both English and French languages are used for this course.

1. Introduction (3h)

          1.1 formation and evolution of the Earth

          1.2 structure and composition of the Earth


2. Waves in the Earth (6h)

          2.1 inertial and Rossby waves, gravity waves

          2.2 Alfvén waves, torsional oscillations

          2.3 acoustic and elastic waves, Green function

          2.4 waves in stratified media, surface waves


3. Wave propagation in disordered media (4.5h)

          3.1 scattering of elastic waves

          3.2 single to multiple scattering

          3.3 characterizing the heterogeneity of Earth materials


4. Imaging natural systems (4.5h)

          4.1 waves in deep Earth: the reference models

          4.2 seismic tomography: body and surface waves

          4.3 passive imaging


5. Dynamics of rotating fluids (4.5h)

          5.1 experimental illustrations at the Coriolis platform (TP)

          5.2 geostrophic equilibrium, Ekman layers, Proudman-Taylor theorem

          5.3 rotating convection


6. Magnetohydrodynamics and dynamo (4.5h)

          6.1 the magnetic field of the Earth and core flows

          6.2 Cowling theorem, dynamo mechanisms, reversals

          6.3 models of the Earth’s dynamo


+ Journal club (3x1h)

Recommended prerequisite

Electromagnetism, thermodynamics, continuum mechanics (L3 course), maths for physicists (L3 course).