Syllabus for Introduction to the Physics and Dynamics of the Earth

Introduktion till jordens fysik och dynamik


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1GE060
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics G1N, Earth Science G1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2018-03-08
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2021-03-04
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2022
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements and Physics 2, Mathematics 4/Mathematics E
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Explain the development of plate boundaries over time.
  • Describe Earth's magnetic and gravity field and how it relates to Earth's shape and structure.
  • Explain how earthquakes are described as strike-slip, normal and reverse mechanisms from global observations of seismic waves.
  • Explain the evolution and dynamics of Earth's subduction zones, mid-ocean ridges, continental shelves and sedimentary basins.


Plate tectonics. Earth's magnetic field and palaeomagnetism. Earth formation. Dating methods and radioactive isotopes. Earth's shape and gravity field, the geoid, isostasy. Seismicity, source mechanisms, stress fields. Heat flow in continental and oceanic plates. Convection in the Earth's mantle and core. Earth composition from core to lithosphere. Structure and formation of oceanic and continental crust.


Lectures, exercises, seminar presentations.


Written examination (4 hp), assignments (1 hp).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2022

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Lowrie, William Fundamentals of geophysics

    2. ed.: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007

    Find in the library

Last modified: 2022-04-26