Geography/Geology
3300_ _Spring 2013
Process
Geomorphology
Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences
Valdosta State
University
Professor:_Dr. Donald
M. Thieme_ _ _ _ _Meeting Time: 12:0012:50 MWF Nevins
2075
Office:_2046 Nevins
Hall_ _ _ _ _Web Page: http://www.valdosta.edu/~dmthieme
Phone: 2292191345_ _ _ _ _ _ _EMail: dmthieme@valdosta.edu
Office Hours: M
2:003:00;T 9:0012:00 or by appointment
Textbook
Ritter, Kochel,
and Miller, 2002 (5^{th} Edition). Process Geomorphology.
Waveland Press, Long Grove, IL
Course Purpose and Overview
Geomorphology is the study of the form or surface of
planet Earth. The descriptive part of geomorphology consists of mapping,
measuring, and identifying “landforms.” Most of you will already be familiar
with this material from our introductory course, GEOG 1113K. In “process”
geomorphology, we delve more deeply into the driving forces which shape the
Earth’s surface. We will cover mass wasting transport on hillslopes
as well as fluvial, coastal, aeolian, glacial and periglacial processes. Simple mathematical equations will
be used to relate many of these processes to fundamental physical forces.
The laboratory exercises for GEOG
3300 build upon map reading and map making skills developed in GEOG 1113K and
taught in other geography courses. Applying geomorphology to real world
examples now requires familiarity not only with paper maps but also with
computer programs for working with maps (ArcGIS, SURFER, AutoCAD).
At least one of the laboratory exercises will therefore be completed using the
department computer lab. Recent advances in geomorphology are also closely linked
to the development of new techniques for estimating the age of landforms and
the deposits which result from surficial processes. Isotopic dating methods
covered in this class will include ^{14}C, K/Ar,
U disequilibrium, and exposure ages based on cosmogenic
nuclides such as ^{10}Be, ^{26}Al, ^{36}Cl, and ^{3}He.
Other radiogenic, chemical, biological, and
correlation techniques are also introduced.
Course Content and Attendance
Although I will not be taking
attendance after the first couple weeks of classes, I do regard your attendance
at both my lectures and labs as an important indicator of your commitment to
learning in my class. I will draw upon my own research as well as outside
readings to provide some material
that is not in your book. I will also require you to participate in our critical
discussion of seminal papers from primary research literature,
held every week and usually on Friday. If you miss any of these then you will
required to submit a short summary of the article and answer some study
questions about it.
I will take a
survey of class interests during the first week of the semester in order to
guide my selection of topics to emphasize. If you have already begun a senior thesis
project, please talk to me about how we might work out some readings and a
paper topic so that you can integrate your own research with the material
covered in this class. My office hours are listed at the beginning of the
syllabus in case you need to talk about a lab assignment, your term paper, or
anything else regarding the course,. I will also be
glad to meet with you at another time if my posted hours do not work for you.
Feel free to stop by whenever I am in my office.
Grading
There will be three hourlong
exams (100 points each) during the semester and a final exam (200 points) given
at the course’s completion. The final exam will include approximately 100
points of material covered after the third lecture exam and 100 points of
comprehensive material. Make up exams will only be given in the case of extreme circumstances.
Illness will only be considered a valid excuse for
missing an exam if you can provide a doctor’s note stating that you were too
ill to attend the test.
All students will be required to write a 10page term paper (100
points). There will be three possible options in terms of the topic and style
of the term papers, and the criteria which I use in
grading them will be slightly different. One option will be a paper explaining
a technique or method currently
being applied in geomorphology. Either a method for dating surficial deposits
or a computer model would be an excellent choice here. Another type of paper
topic would be one in which you interpret a sequence of surficial deposits in terms of one or more of the
processes covered in this class. Finally, you may want to write a paper
describing some consequences for human
society of a hazardous process which we cover in this class. This could
either be a recent event covered in newspapers and on television or an ancient
event recorded in historical documents or archaeological findings.
A total of 100 points will be earned from the "critical
discussion" activities. You will earn a maximum of six points for each of
the 13 discussion sessions that you attend or complete the assignment for. You
will also be responsible for leading a discussion on one of the 15 papers, and
you will earn 25 points for that.
There will be two (2) oneday fieldtrips on a Saturday, and every
student must attend at least one of these in order to pass the course. I am
still planning these fieldtrips, and I will let you know the details within the
next two weeks. These will each be worth 50 points and you have the option of
earning a maximum of 50 extra credit points by going on both trips. You can
also earn those 50 extra credit points by going on the Florida/Georgia trip
along with the GEOL 1121 students. I will have a special assignment for those
of you on the Florida/Georgia trip, emphasizing surficial processes evident at
the stops.
The laboratory section of the course is required of all students. There
will be 10 lab exercises completed during the semester. At 25 points each, the
10 exercises will be worth 250 points total. Late labs will be deducted 10% per
day late.
A total of 1000 points will be possible during the course of the
semester (500 lecture tests, 100 term paper, 100 critical discussions, 50 field
trip, 250 labs). Final grades will be based on the
following scale:
Percentage 
Points 
Grade 
90 – 100 80 – 90 70 – 80 60 – 70 < 60 
9001000 800900 700800 600700 < 600 
A B C D F 
Disability Policy
Students requiring classroom accommodations or
modifications because of a documented disability should discuss this with me so
we can make reasonable accommodations. If you have not yet done so, you should
also contact the Access Office located in Farber
Hall and register with them.
Plagiarism and Cheating
Students are allowed to work in
groups on labs, but other assignments are individual assignments. Any student who copies, plagiarizes, or otherwise cheats on an
individual assignment will be given a zero for that assignment. There will be
no exceptions and no opportunity to redo the assignment.
Tentative Lecture Schedule and Readings:
Week 
Topics and Important Dates 
Reading* 
1 January 711 
Basic Concepts, 1^{st }Critical Discussion on
January 11^{th} 
Ch. 1, p. 19 and p. 1320 Clayton, 1971 
2 January 1418 
Rocks and Minerals, Chemical Weathering 2^{nd }Critical Discussion on
January 18^{th} 
Ch. 1, p. 912’ Ch.3, p. 4864; Hack, 1960 
3 January 2325 
January 21^{st} ML King Day, no
school Weathering and Mass Wasting 3^{rd} Critical Discussion on
February 25^{th} 
Ch. 4, p. 86109; Schumm and Chorley, 1964 
4 Jan 28  Feb 1 
Hillslope Form, Slope
Evolution Exam #1 on February 1^{st} 4th Critical Discussion on January 30^{th} 
Ch. 4; p. 109147 
5 February 48 
Fluvial Processes 5^{th} Critical Discussion/Term Paper Topic due on
February 8^{th} 
Ch. 6; Leopold and Maddock, 1953 
6 February 1115 
Fluvial Landforms 6^{th}
Critical Discussion on February 15^{th} 
Ch. 7; Leigh, 2006 
7 February 1822 
Karst Processes and Landforms 7^{th}
Critical Discussion on February 22^{nd} 
Ch. 12; White, 2009 
8 Feb 25  Mar 1 
Internal Forces and Climate 8^{th}
Critical Discussion/Term Paper Outline due on March 4^{th} 
Ch. 2, Pinter and
Brandon, 1997 
9 March 48 
Dating Methods, Geological Time Scale, Quaternary Stratigraphy 9^{th}
Critical Discussion on March 9^{th} 
Ch. 2; Davis et al,
2001 
10 March 1115 
Soils Exam #2 on March 13^{th} 
Ch. 3, p. 6483 
11 March 1822 
Spring Break, no class 

12 Mar 2529 
Soils (continued), Wind Processes and Landforms 
Ch. 3, p. 6483 Ch. 8 
13 April 15 
Glaciers and Glacial Erosion 10th Critical
Discussion on April 3^{rd} 
Ch. 9, 10; McFadden et al., 1987 
14 April 812 
Glacial Deposition, Periglacial Landforms 11th Critical Discussion on April 10^{th} 
Ch. 10, 11 Stone and Ashley, 1992 
15 April 1519 
Exam #3 on April 17^{th} Coastal Processes and Landforms 12th Critical
Discussion on April 22^{nd} 
Ch. 13 Burdette et al., 2010 
16 Apr 2229 
Human Impacts 13^{th}
Critical Discussion/Term Paper due on April 26^{th} Final Exam Review 
Handouts; Hooke, 2000 

Final
Exam: Friday, May 2^{nd} at 12:30 pm 

* All readings are in Ritter, Kochel, and Miller (2002) except for the 12 papers for
critical discussion, which will be posted online with links from BlazeVIEW. 