Earth Surface Processes

Institution: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia

Major: Hyris

Term: Second

Instructor: Michael Maerker, N.N.

CFU: 6

SSD: GEO/04 (04/A3)

Duration: (30 hrs lectures + 25 hrs tutored seminars)


Office hours:



The aim of the course is to give an overview on the earth surface processes related to natural hazards. Therefore, we will illustrate the specific dynamics of the processes as well as their driving factors. Moreover, we will also show how the processes might be assessed in the field and with numeric and stochastic modelling approaches. Part of the course will be also a field visit with emphasis on the relevant field measurement techniques. Thus, the course will comprise theoretical lectures, tutoredclasses as well as field work.



The tackled topics include the general exogenic and endogenic earth surface processes domains such as fluvial, gravitational, glacial and periglacial as well as aeolic, volcanic, tectonic and marine process domains. We will explain the fundamental functioning of these processes and show the related forms and features. Moreover, we will focus on the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the respective processes. This includes the general methods to generate and derive the necessary background information as well as the application of computer simulations and GIS implemented models. Especially the tempo-spatial components of the processes will be stressed. Finally, students will work out for an area of interest specific hazard maps that will be discussed at the end of the course.



Basic knowledge of: GIS (QGIS, GRASS, SAGA), stochastic models



Strahler, A. & Strahler, A. (1999): Introducing physical Geography. Third Edition. Wiley & Sons New York.

Press, F. & Siever, R. (2001): Understanding earth. 3. ed., 2. Print, Freeman, New York.

Blume, H. (1992): Colour atlas of the surface forms of the earth. London. 144pp.

Rhoads, B.L. & Thorns, C.L. (1996): The scientific nature of geomorphology. Wiley & Sons. electronic book.

Selby, M.J. (1993): Hillslope materials and processes. Oxford University Press, Oxford.451 S.



The final examination will consist of the discussion of a Poster the students have to compile during the course and a written test. Grading: 60% poster 40% oral exam.