GEOL 3265 Spring 2013  

Meeting Time:          
Tuesday and Thursday 4:30 pm - 7:15 pm

Meeting Place:          Townsend T-212

Instructor:                  Prof. Charles L. Smart                                    
                                    Department of Geology and Meteorology
                                    E-mail address:

Lecture Text:             "Geomorphology: A Systematic Analysis of Late Cenozoic Landforms", Third Edition, by Arthur L. Bloom.
                                   Waveland Press or Prentice Hall. Available at the bookstore.

Lab books:                 100 Topographic maps by Richard DeBruin
Aerial Stereograms by Harold R. Wanless

Supplemental book     Image Interpretation in Geology by Steve Drury      

Office Hours:             Tuesday and Thursday before class. Currently I am working in C-327.


Equipment:                Besides the usual scientific calculator, triangle, ruler, and protractor, each student needs a stereoscope ($7.25) and 3-D red-blue glasses ($2.75). These last two are available at the first class for $10.


General Comments       We will study the processes that create modern landforms, while increasing our interpretation skills with topographic maps, surface geology maps, and aerial and satellite photos.  


There will be a MidTerm (20%) and a cumulative Final Examination (20%).  The questions will come from the lecture, reading, and laboratories.  Students will form small teams and develop a poster session on a local surface feature (20%). A practicum and take-home will test your new laboratory skills (10%).  Graded Homework, lab reports, and quizzes count for 15%.


A required,  all day, field trip will be run on Saturday April 20th, with a rain date on April 27th. A report on this trip will be worth the remaining 15% of your grade.

The vans leave the flagpole between Science and Hennings at 9 am sharp.


The alternative to the field trip is a 15-page research paper on your experimental study of a surface phenomenon, including previous work, methods and materials, similitude, interential statistics and results.


All tests in regular classroom, closed book, closed notes.


Attendance   Attendance is the basis of class participation, and will indirectly affect your grade.  For example, quiz dates are announced in class. Labs require setups that will not be repeated for absentees. Similarly quizzes cannot be made up. Online copies of lecture slides are just outlines, and contain minimal text. They are not intended to replace in-class note taking. Only by coming to class will you hear explanations and be able to get an accurate impression of what will be stressed on tests and the final.   Tests include lecture topics, reading, homework, and lab questions.

Disabilities       If you have a disability and need any sort of special accommodations, please see me prior to the first test.

Lecture Schedule


 Scope, history of the science, vector decomposition and force balances; Hypothesis and test, similitude

Structural control of Erosion; Cenozoic climate change; 

Tectonic Landforms; Volcanoes

Weathering; Karst

Mass Wasting


Fluvial Systems; Fluvial System Evolution


Statistical Hypothesis Testing; Arid Landscapes, Aeolian Processes

Periglacial; MidTerm

Glaciers, Glacial Geomorphology   

Late Quaternary Climates; Shore Processes

Coast Description

Group Presentations         Poster sessions due, group order chosen at random

Field Trip                         

Review, Final Exam