Vesuvius looming over Pompeii

The Violent Earth

San Francisco State University
Dr. Mary Leech

Tel: 415-338-1144
Office hours: T 10:50-12:00, Thornton Hall 515

E-mail: leech "at"

"Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice"

-- Will Durant

[Course materials]... [Exam review]... [Lecture slides and In-class exercises]... [Handouts]... [Disasters in the news]... [Web links]...

Miss a video in class?
Watch it at the Media Access Center in the library
Videos are available M-Th 8:00-7:45, F 8:00-4:45, Sa 11:00-5:45, and Su 12:00-4:45
The Media Access Center is located on the 3rd floor of the library

Click the links below for The Violent Earth course materials:

Course syllabus - to view online, click [web]; to download to your computer, click [pdf]

NEW - Revised course schedule [web] [pdf] (note new deadlines for assignments) - NEW

Exam review materials: (updated throughout the semester)

[Week of 8/22] [Week of 8/29] [Week of 9/5] [Week of 9/12] [Week of 9/19] [Week of 9/26] [Week of 10/3] [Week of 10/10] [Week of 10/17] [Week of 10/24] [Week of 10/31] [Week of 11/7] [Week of 11/14] [Week of 11/21] [Week of 11/28]

Lecture slides, in-class exercises/homework
(View PowerPoint online or download and view with Acrobat Reader) [Lecture slides should become available by 5pm the day before that lecture]

Introduction and Discovering Plate Boundaries I and II - 8/25 and 8/30

Rocks, Earth structure, and geologic time (with a little bit about Hurricane Katrina) - 9/1

Plate tectonics, part I - 9/6
Lecture: [web] [pdf]

Plate tectonics, part II - 9/8

      Lecture: [web] [pdf]
          Movies: Plate boundary development - Pacific/North America and the San Andreas fault

          In-class exercise (ungraded): Rate of Pacific plate motion - the Hawaiian hot spot

Faults, earthquakes, and seismology - 9/13 Bay Area faults and more on earthquakes - 9/15

The San Andreas fault I - 9/20 Where the Fault Lies video - 9/22

The San Andreas fault II - the Great Quake of 1906 and Kobe, Japan - 9/27 Subduction zone earthquakes, the Alaskan Good Friday earthquake in 1964, and the New Madrid seismic zone - 9/29

Tsunami I - 10/4 Tsunami II and midterm exam review - 10/6

Midterm exam - 10/11 Volcanoes and volcanic rocks - 10/13

Tues. 10/18 - class cancelled

Volcanoes and volcanic rocks - 10/20

Volcanic hazards - Tues. 10/25 Predicting volcanic eruptions and more volcanic hazards - Thurs. 10/27

Predicting volcanic eruptions - Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, 1991 - Tues. 11/1 Volcanoes in Hollywood - Stratovolcanoes - Thurs. 11/3

Volcanoes in Hollywood - Stratovolcanoes - Tues. 11/8 Volcanoes in Hollywood - Yellowstone - Thurs. 11/10

Volcanoes in Hollywood - Yellowstone - Tues. 11/15 Flooding - Regional and flash floods - Thurs. 11/17

Mass movements - Tues. 11/22 (postponed until next week)

Mass movements - Tues. 11/29 (this lecture will replace Fires - you do not need to read the chapter on Fires) Review and Discovering Plate Boundaries III - Thurs. 12/1

Class handouts, and other items from lecture:

Geologic time scale

Geologic time in a single year

Blank world map Labelled world map

Natural disasters in the news: (to be updated throughout the semester)

Local and North American events

Category 4 Hurricane Katrina hits Louisiana and Mississippi - Read more on the National Hurricane Center web site

Significant world events

Large quake hits the Pakistani Himalaya

Magnitude 7.7 quake hits Papua New Guinea on 9 September 2005

Web sites of interest:

Tapestry of Time and Terrain (Age of the rocks and topography in the U.S.)

Tectonic plate motions

U.S. Geological Survey

Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader

** Updated 1 December 2005 **