Each student is required to write a term paper on some topic or aspect of the course, chosen in consultation with the instructor. The instructor guides the student in gathering the appropriate primary literature on the topic. The student submits a draft of the paper well before the end of the semester, and a final draft at the end of the semester on the basis of editorial comments by the instructor.

Term Paper Topics

  • Differing concepts of sediment movement threshold
  • Differing concepts of the dynamics of bed-load movement
  • The distinction between bed load and suspended load
  • The importance of saltation in sediment movement by water flows
  • The dynamics of eolian saltation
  • What sets the spacing of eolian ripples? What sets the spacing of subaqueous current ripples?
  • Is there a gap in the spacing of ripples and the spacing of dunes?
  • Are there discernible differences in geometry of large-scale cross stratification generated by water flows and by wind?
  • What are the effects of acceleration of gravity and of atmospheric density on sediment movement?