GLG490/598C: Subduction Zones
Fall 2003

Course Information - General

Lecture time/location

TTh 1:40p-2:55p

Room: PSF-686


Matt Fouch


Office hours

WF 9a-10a

Office: PSF-540 x5-9292


Simon Peacock


Office hours

TTh 3p-4p

Office: PSF-536 x5-1733


Shawn Wright


Office hours

M 11a-12p; Th 12p-1p;
by appointment

Office: PSH-469E (bullpen)
Phone: x 5-9872

Web site


Computing resources

Geological Instructional
Computing Facility (GICF)

Room: PSH-461








Term project



Course format:  This course will follow a hybrid lecture/seminar format.  Obviously, class participation is an essential part of this process.  We will use the first few weeks of class to provide an extended introduction to the various components of subduction systems.  A few homework sets that relate to both the reading and the lectures will be assigned.  The second portion of the course will be devoted to discussions of recent and classic papers interspersed with lectures that supplement the readings.  At the end of the semester, we will spend several class periods presenting, listening to, and critiquing oral presentations for one another’s term projects.

Course objectives:  By the end of this course, you should:

·        Know the fundamentals of subduction zone structure and processes
·        Show proficiency in solving quantitative problems
·        Improve your ability to discuss and present scientific research
·        Further develop your scientific writing skills

Course Information - Details

Web site ( Please check this site often for updates to course information.  As the semester progresses, some course documents (particularly the syllabus) may become outdated.  While we’ll occasionally distribute new hard copies of materials in class, the most recent versions of these documents will always be on the course web site.
Computing resources (PSH-461) For those of you that do not use the campus Computing Commons or have access to research computing labs, you are welcome to use the department’s Geological Instructional Computing Facility (GICF), located directly down the hall from our classroom.  The access code to the room is included on the form that you completed on the first day of class.
Homework sets (20%) Problem sets are an integral part of the learning process in all science classes.  While you are welcome to work together on these problem sets (we encourage it!), each person must submit their own set of solutions in their own words.  Copious partial credit will be given; therefore, it is imperative that you show all steps leading to your final solution.

Homework sets must be submitted by beginning of class on the due date.
Quizzes (20%) There will be 2 quizzes worth 10% each that cover the lecture material from the first part of the course.  There will not be a final exam.
Discussion (20%) The second part of the class will involve readings from a range of disciplines.  It is imperative that you participate in the discussions of these papers.  Grading will be on a scale that reflects your participation for each discussion day.
Term project (40%) The term project is a key component of the course, and therefore we expect that you will spend ample time working on it throughout the semester.  Please see “Term Project Guidelines” regarding details of the project.
Late Policy All late assignments are subject to a penalty as follows:
1 day 10% off
2 days 40% off
3 days 75% off

4+ days 100% off (no credit)

This penalty can be waived given appropriate circumstances. It is much easier to deal with conflicts if they are discussed beforehand.  Whenever possible, please see one of us ASAP to avoid this penalty.