EPSc 131 Natural Disasters

Spring 2011

Instructor: Phil Skemer (pskemer@wustl.edu, 5-3584)

Lectures: MW 10:00-11:30a

Office Hours: (EPS 181) Th 1:00-3:00p

Mount Merapi 2010 (Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP/Getty Images)

Canterbury EQ 2010 (New Zealand Geological Survey)

Sinkhole, Guatamala 2010 (CNN)

Landslide (W. Smith, Manawatu Standard)

Earth is a dynamic planet. Changes to the planet may be sudden and violent, often with dramatic societal consequences. This course will review the scientific origins of natural disasters. Modern and historical examples will be discussed, particularly with regard to the interactions between people and planet. Techniques for mitigation of economic loss and fatalities will be evaluated.

 

  1. Homework 1 (Due 2/14/11) (US Map for Question 1)
  2. Homework 2 (Due 2/23/11)
  3. Homework 3 (Due 3/28/11)
  4. Extra Credit Assignment (Due 4/27/11)

Reading/Watching/Listening Assignments

  1. Yellowstone's supervolcano, CNN, 1-27-11
  2. Stress of Sliding Plates Builds Near Chile, NYTimes, 2-8-11
  3. Will Buildings Survive Climate Change?, NYTimes, 2-13-11
  4. Seawalls Offered Little Protection Against Crushing Waves, NYTimes, 3-13-11
  5. Nuclear Overreactors, Slate, 3-14-11
  6. Defying Expectations, Science, 3-17-11
  7. The really big one, The Economist, 3-18-11

 

Videos from Class

  1. Eruption of Shinmoe-dake Volcano, CNN, 1-28-11
  2. Eruption of Shinmoe-dake Volcano, YouTube
  3. Breakup of Pangea, YouTube
  4. Giulio di Toro's Earthquake Machine, YouTube
  5. World's Largest Shake Table - YouTube
  6. Erta Ale Lava Lake Tectonics - YouTube
  7. Landslide, Maierato (Italy) 2-18-10
  8. Landslide, Maierato (Italy) Aftermath 2-18-10
  9. Japan Tsunami (arrival of secondary tsunami waves) 3-11-11
  10. Japan Tsunami (tsunami pushing cars and boats up a river) 3-11-11
  11. Japan Tsunami (tsunami reaching Sendai airport) 3-11-11
  12. Japan Tsunami (AP news report) 3-11-11
  13. Japan Earthquake (Japanese Supermarket - BBC) 3-11-11
  14. Japan Earthquake (buildings swaying during event) 3-11-11
  15. Tsunami striking seawall (BBC) 3-14-11
  16. Tornado in Mississippi 4-18-11

 

Links

  1. Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)
  2. The Landslide Blog

Google Earth Files (download program here)

  1. Global Volcano Program
  2. Historic Earthquakes
  3. Real-time Earthquakes

Lectures

  1. Lecture 1 Mt. Merapi
  2. Lecture 2 Populations
  3. Lecture 3 Energy
  4. Lecture 4 Mantle Convection
  5. Lecture 5 Plate Tectonics
  6. Lecture 6 Earthquakes
  7. Lecture 7 Earthquake Construction
  8. Lecture 8 Earthquake Case Studies
  9. Lecture 9 Tsunmai
  10. Lecture 10 Volcanoes I
  11. Lecture 11 Volcanoes II
  12. Lecture 12 Volcano Case Studies and Midterm I Review
  13. Lecture 13 Mass Movements
  14. Lecture 14 Weather
  15. Lecture 15 Japan Disaster
  16. Lecture 16 Severe Weather
  17. Lecture 17 Hurricanes
  18. Lecture 18 Hurricane Case Studies
  19. Lecture 19 Midterm II Review
  20. Lecture 20 Climate Change
  21. Lecture 21 Climate Change
  22. Lecture 22 Climate Change
  23. Lecture 23 Impacts and Extinctions
  24. Lecture 24 Impacts, Extinctions, and Semester Review