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Mathematical Modeling of Earth's Dynamical Systems: A Primer


By: Rudy Slingerland and Lee Kump

304 pages, Figs, tabs

Princeton University Press

Paperback | May 2011 | #189914 | ISBN-13: 9780691145143
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NHBS Price: £37.95 $48/€44 approx

About this book

Mathematical Modeling of Earth's Dynamical Systems gives Earth scientists the essential skills for translating chemical and physical systems into mathematical and computational models that provide enhanced insight into Earth's processes. Using a step-by-step method, the book identifies the important geological variables of physical-chemical geoscience problems and describes the mechanisms that control these variables.

This book is directed toward upper-level undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers, and professionals who want to learn how to abstract complex systems into sets of dynamic equations. It shows students how to recognize domains of interest and key factors, and how to explain assumptions in formal terms. The book reveals what data best tests ideas of how nature works, and cautions against inadequate transport laws, unconstrained coefficients, and unfalsifiable models. Various examples of processes and systems, and ample illustrations, are provided. Students using this text should be familiar with the principles of physics, chemistry, and geology, and have taken a year of differential and integral calculus.

Written by two of the leading researchers in the field, Mathematical Modeling of Dynamical Systems is a must-read for all geoscientists, and not just students. This excellent primer offers bite-size gems of insight into the world of quantitative geosciences applications, covers both mathematical and modeling concepts, and offers practical exercises to build expertise. Course notes and methodologies will be improving across our academies.--James P. M. Syvitski, executive director, Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System

"This wonderful, timely, and necessary book is a real winner. I appreciated the amazing range of geoscience topics as well as the book's structure--each of the chapters begins with an abstract-like summary preview, followed by examples of translations, before delving more deeply into topics. The authors should be congratulated for a brilliant book and pedagogical milestone."--Gidon Eshel, Bard College

"I am impressed with the overall philosophy of the book. The authors' definition of modeling is quite lucid and there is a useful breadth to the problems presented. The book's approach is pedagogically valuable for geoscience students, and fills a niche that exists between the more traditional geophysics math methods and Earth system dynamics."--Stephen Griffies, physical scientist, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab


Preface xi Chapter 1: Modeling and Mathematical Concepts 1 Pros and Cons of Dynamical Models 2 An Important Modeling Assumption 4 Some Examples 4 Example I: Simulation of Chicxulub Impact and Its Consequences 5 Example II: Storm Surge of Hurricane Ivan in Escambia Bay 7 Steps in Model Building 8 Basic Definitions and Concepts 11 Nondimensionalization 13 A Brief Mathematical Review 14 Summary 22 Chapter 2: Basics of Numerical Solutions by Finite Difference 23 First Some Matrix Algebra 23 Solution of Linear Systems of Algebraic Equations 25 General Finite Difference Approach 26 Discretization 27 Obtaining Difference Operators by Taylor Series 28 Explicit Schemes 29 Implicit Schemes 30 How Good Is My Finite Difference Scheme? 33 Stability Is Not Accuracy 35 Summary 37 Modeling Exercises 38 Chapter 3: Box Modeling: Unsteady, Uniform Conservation of Mass 39 Translations 40 Example I: Radiocarbon Content of the Biosphere as a One-Box Model 40 Example II: The Carbon Cycle as a Multibox Model 48 Example III: One-Dimensional Energy Balance Climate Model 53 Finite Difference Solutions of Box Models 57 The Forward Euler Method 57 Predictor-Corrector Methods 59 Stiff Systems 60 Example IV: Rothman Ocean 61 Backward Euler Method 65 Model Enhancements 69 Summary 71 Modeling Exercises 71 Chapter 4: One-Dimensional Diffusion Problems 74 Translations 75 Example I: Dissolved Species in a Homogeneous Aquifer 75 Example II: Evolution of a Sandy Coastline 80 Example III: Diffusion of Momentum 83 Finite Difference Solutions to 1-D Diffusion Problems 86 Summary 86 Modeling Exercises 87 Chapter 5: Multidimensional Diffusion Problems 89 Translations 90 Example I: Landscape Evolution as a 2-D Diffusion Problem 90 Example II: Pollutant Transport in a Confined Aquifer 96 Example III: Thermal Considerations in Radioactive Waste Disposal 99 Finite Difference Solutions to Parabolic PDEs and Elliptic Boundary Value Problems 101 An Explicit Scheme 102 Implicit Schemes 103 Case of Variable Coefficients 107 Summary 108 Modeling Exercises 109 Chapter 6: Advection-Dominated Problems 111 Translations 112 Example I: A Dissolved Species in a River 112 Example II: Lahars Flowing along Simple Channels 116 Finite Difference Solution Schemes to the Linear Advection Equation 122 Summary 126 Modeling Exercises 128 Chapter 7: Advection and Diffusion (Transport) Problems 130 Translations 131 Example I: A Generic 1-D Case 131 Example II: Transport of Suspended Sediment in a Stream 134 Example III: Sedimentary Diagenes Influence of Burrows 138 Finite Difference Solutions to the Transport Equation 143 QUICK Scheme 144 QUICKEST Scheme 146 Summary 147 Modeling Exercises 147 Chapter 8: Transport Problems with a Twist: The Transport of Momentum 151 Translations 152 Example I: One-Dimensional Transport of Momentum in a Newtonian Fluid (Burgers' Equation) 152 An Analytic Solution to Burgers' Equation 157 Finite Difference Scheme for Burgers' Equation 158 Solution Scheme Accuracy 160 Diffusive Momentum Transport in Turbulent Flows 163 Adding Sources and Sinks of Momentum: The General Law of Motion 165 Summary 166 Modeling Exercises 167 Chapter 9: Systems of One-Dimensional Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations 169 Translations 169 Example I: Gradually Varied Flow in an Open Channel 169 Finite Difference Solution Schemes for Equation Sets 175 Explicit FTCS Scheme on a Staggered Mesh 175 Four-Point Implicit Scheme 177 The Dam-Break Problem: An Example 180 Summary 183 Modeling Exercises 185 Chapter 10: Two-Dimensional Nonlinear Hyperbolic Systems 187 Translations 188 Example I: The Circulation of Lakes, Estuaries, and the Coastal Ocean 188 An Explicit Solution Scheme for 2-D Vertically Integrated Geophysical Flows 197 Lake Ontario Wind-Driven Circulation: An Example 202 Summary 203 Modeling Exercises 206 Closing Remarks 209 References 211 Index 217

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Rudy Slingerland and Lee Kump are professors of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. Slingerland is the coauthor of "Simulating Clastic Sedimentary Basins". Kump is the coauthor of "The Earth System".

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