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Rivers: The Arteries of Earth's Continents (ESS 225, GEOPHYS 221)

Rivers are the arteries of Earth's continents, conveying water, sediments, and solutes from the headwaters to the oceans. They provide a haven for life and have been at the heart of the world's economy by generating fertile floodplains, human habitats, as well as by facilitating international commerce. This course offers a quantitative examination of rivers, from headwaters to deltas. We will first develop a basic mechanistic understanding of fluvial processes, including flow hydraulics, erosion, sediment transport, and deposition. We will then apply our acquired knowledge through thematic discussions of relevant issues. Possible themes include deltas and climate change, rivers and human activity (damming, sand mining, deforestation), rivers and the evolution of land plants, rivers and biogeochemical cycles, submarine channels, and the alien rivers of Mars and Titan. Taught in even years.

Subject: 
GEOLSCI