C5.11 Mathematical Geoscience (2019-2020)

Prof. Ian Hewitt
General Prerequisites: 

B5.2 Applied Partial Differential Equations and B5.3 Viscous Flow recommended.

Course Term: 
Course Lecture Information: 

16 lectures

Course Weight: 
1.00 unit(s)
Course Level: 

Assessment type:

Course Overview: 

The aim of the course is to illustrate the techniques of mathematical modelling in their particular application to environmental problems. The mathematical techniques used are drawn from the theory of ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations. The course requires a willingness to become familiar with a range of different scientific disciplines. In particular, familiarity with the concepts of fluid mechanics will be useful.

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will have developed a sound knowledge of some of the models studied in mathematical geoscience. They will also get exposure to some modern research topics in the field.

Course Synopsis: 

Applications of mathematics to environmental or geophysical problems involving the use of models with ordinary and partial differential equations. Examples to be considered are:

- Climate dynamics (radiative balance, greenhouse effect, ice-albedo feedback, carbon cycle)

- River flows (conservation laws, flood hydrographs, St Venant equations, sediment transport, bed instabilities)

- Ice dynamics (glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice)

Reading List: 
  1. A. C. Fowler, Mathematical Geoscience (Springer, 2011).
  2. J. T. Houghton, The Physics of Atmospheres (3rd ed., Cambridge University Press., Cambridge, 2002).
  3. K. Richards, Rivers (Methuen, 1982).
  4. K. M. Cuffey and W. S. B. Paterson, The Physics of Glaciers (4th edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2011).

Please note that e-book versions of many books in the reading lists can be found on SOLO and ORLO.