Announcing
a new course in Geology and Geophysics:
Data Analysis for Earth Scientists
Gridding data with large unconstrained
regions can cause problems. There are several techniques that can be
used in GMT; this example illustrates some of them. Lower left panel
shows contours of the surface generated with nearneighbor based on
available ship bathymetry. Being a local procedure it will not
extrapolate the surface far away from the control data. surface, on the
other hand (lower right), will. One can deal with this by either
imposing a clip mask based on the data distribution (upper left), or
simply overlay the continents to mask out the unwanted contours.
[Example courtesy of Paul Wessel and Walter Smith, using the GMT
software,
http://gmt.soest.hawaii.edu/]
Kurt Feigl
Associate Professor
Department of Geology and Geophysics
Description of Course
Capsule statement of course
Fundamentals of data analysis for earth
sciences with emphasis on practical applications using highlevel
computer programming languages: matrix algebra, least squares, Gaussian
statistics, gridding, cartographic projections, spectral
analysis.
Prerequisites
 Calculus and/or elementary vector matrix algebra (Math 210, 211,
221 or equivalent) or consent of instructor
 Some experience with digital images, GIS, or cartography is
desirable.
 Familiarity with computers and/or highlevel
programming/scripting languages is desirable.
 This course is NOT be open to freshmen.
LEVEL OF COURSE: ADVANCED
CROSSLISTING DEPARTMENTS (proposed)
CREDITS:
Number: two (2)
(2 hours of lecture per week) x (15 weeks) = 30 hours of
instruction
EXPANDED COURSE DESCRIPTION
See list of lectures.
NEED FOR THIS COURSE
Increasingly, Geology and Geophysics
are quantitative disciplines requiring the use of computers and
sophisticated software to compile, analyze and assess large data sets.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER UWMADISON COURSES
The proposed new course is
complementary to, but distinct from, the following other courses:
 Geology and Geophysics 793 (Geophysical Inverse Theory). The
proposed course
will consider data analysis from a practical, handson point of view
rather than a theoretical mathematical one.
 Geology and Geophysics 791 (Geophysical Field and Interpretation
Methods). The proposed course is designed for students with relatively
little experience with computers, but has no field component.
WILL THIS COURSE MEET A REQUIREMENT FOR
THE MAJOR IN YOUR DEPARTMENT OR ANOTHER DEPARTMENT?
YES, The proposed course 402 would
count towards the 34 credits of course work in Geology and Geophysics
required for the major. It would also count toward the requirement of
1215 credits of upperlevel course work.
Syllabus
Learning Objectives
 To understand the basic mathematical concepts underlying data
analysis in the Earth sciences
 To master the criteria for selecting an appropriate approach to
data analysis
 To view, intepret, and asses practical examples data analysis
 To understand the current abilities, future potential, and
limiting factors of various software packages
 To develop critical thinking skills, particularly in spatial
reasoning about quantitative data
How will students be evaluated?
 Seven problem sets involving data analysis with Matlab and GMT
 Students may (and should) consult with each other on problem
sets, but each student is expected to turn in his or her own work.
 Problem sets will be turned in on paper with numbered figures and
pages, including "diary" from Matlab showing relevant calculations.
 Problem sets will be due at the end of class (4:20 pm) on the due
date. Late penalty is 20 percent per business day or fraction thereof.
 No exam
Schedule
 Regular 15week course offered every Fall
 Class
will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 PM to 4:20 PM.
 First meeting is planned for 3:30 PM Tuesday September 4th, 2007,
in Room 1249 of Engineering Hall
 The classroom is a computer lab in the ComputerAided
Engineering (CAE) facility.
Required Textbook
Trauth, M. H. (2006). MATLAB®
recipes for earth sciences: Recipes for Data Analysis
SpringerVerlag GmbH,
288 pages. Includes CDROM with Matlab scripts and examples.
Hardcover. $70 list, $45 used.
Ordered at University Bookstore, August 2007.
Recommended Textbooks
Although no single text book covers all
the topics, the following books are excellent references that will
serve you well throughout your career. I would recommend purchasing at
least one, and reading sections from the others, on line or on reserve
in the library. Be aware, though, that the tone, style and itended
audience varies widely between these books. Accordingly, they are
listed below in random order.

Fundamentals of Structural Geology


Numerical Recipes in C Numerical Recipes in C


Numerical Recipes in Fortran Numerical Recipes in Fortran 77


Numerical Recipes in Fortran Numerical Recipes in Fortran 90


Aster, R. C., C. H. Thurber, and
B. Borchers (2005), Parameter estimation and inverse problems, xii, 301
p. pp., Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam ; Boston


Menke, W. (1989), Geophysical
data analysis: discrete inverse theory, revised ed., 289 pp., Academic
Press, San Diego.


Bevington, P. R. (1969), Data
reduction and error analysis for the physical sciences, xv, 336 p. pp.,
McGrawHill, New York.


Bevington, P. R., and D. K.
Robinson (1992), Data reduction and error analysis for the physical
sciences, 2nd ed., xvii, 328 p. pp., McGrawHill, New York.


Nelson, S. L. (2007), Excel 2007
Data Analysis For Dummies
ISBN: 9780470045992
http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/
* Shows ordinary users how to tap the rich data analysis
functionality of Excel, make sense of their organization’s critical
financial and statistical information, and put together compelling data
presentations
* Now revised with over 30 percent new content to
cover the enhancements in Excel 2007, including the completely
redesigned user interface, augmented charting and PivotTable
capabilities, improved security, and better data exchange through XML
* Provides thorough coverage of Excel features that
are critical to data analysis–working with external databases, creating
PivotTables and PivotCharts, using Excel statistical and financial
functions, sharing data, harnessing the Solver, taking advantage of the
Small Business Finance Manager, and more


Davis, J. C. (2002). Statistics
and data analysis in geology. New York Chichester, Wiley.


MATLAB: An Introduction with
Applications, 2nd Edition
Amos Gilat ISBN: 9780471694205
Paperback 352 pages
July 2004
http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd0471694207.html


Strang, G. and K. Borre (1997).
Linear algebra, geodesy, and GPS. Wellesley, MA, WellesleyCambridge
Press.

Topics
Week 1 & 2: Review of Linear Matrix
Algebra
 Vectors
 Working with strike, dip, rake, azimuth and plunge on a
computer
 Matrices and Tensors
 Functions and Functionals
 Images and Fields
 Read Chapter 1 of Trauth
 Read Chatper 1 "Vectors and Matrices" of pages 336 in Strang, G.
and K. Borre (1997), Linear algebra, geodesy, and GPS, on reserve in C. K. Leith Library of
Geology and Geophysics
 Problem Set (PS) 1 due 4:20 PM Thursday 2007SEP13.
 Adding and drawing vectors in three different representations
Week 3 & 4: Fitting a straight line
to 1D data
 Least squares by Singular Value Decomposition
 Gaussian uncertainty
 Goodness of fit
 Learning from residuals
 Read Chapters 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and pp. 4546 only of chapter 3.4 in
Traut
 Read Chapter 15, "Modeling of Data", pages 650700 in Press et
al. (1992) on reserve in C.
K. Leith Library of
Geology and Geophysics
 Optional reading in Menke.
 Problem Set 2 due 4:20 PM Thursday 2007SEP27.
 Gravity dataset from K.M. Larson
Week 5 & 6: Cartogographic
Projections
 Spherical geometry
 Ellipsoids
 Plat carre
 Mercator
 Transverse Mercator & UTM
 Oblique Mercator
 forward and inverse projections
 Using and installing M_MAP
 Read chapters 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 and 7.5 of Trauth
 Read Pawlowicz, R. (2007). " M_Map: A mapping package for
Matlab." http://www.eos.ubc.ca/~rich/map.html
 Problem Set 3 due 4:20 PM Thursday 2007OCT12.
 Camp Randall on USGS Topographic Sheet
Weeks 7, 8, and 9: Fitting a surface to
2D data
 Sampling, gridding and kriging
 Map representation
 Contour representation
 Shaded relief
 Crosssections
 Read chapters 7.6 and 7.7 in Trauth
 Problem Set 4 due 4:20 PM Thursday 2007NOV01
 Example 12 from GMT cookbook
Week 10, 11, and 12: Digital Image
Processing
 Manipulating Color Tables
 Stretching Histograms
 Smoothing & Filtering
 Read chapters 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 and 8.4 of Trauth
 Problem Set 5 due 4:20 PM Tuesday 2007NOV20.
 Aster Image into Google Earth
 No class scheduled Thursday 2007NOV22 (Thanksgiving)
Week 13: Frequency
 Spectrum
 FFT
 Wavelets
 Problem Set 6 due 4:20 PM Thursday 2007NOV29.
Weeks 14 & 15: Velocity FieldsAbsolute
and relative Velocity Fields
 Eulerian description of motion on a sphere
 Trajectories
 Estimating Euler Poles of Rotation
 Error ellipses
 Two guest lectures in Week 15 (AGU).
 Problem Set 7 due 4:20 PM Tuesday 2007DEC18.
* Readings on Learn@UW and/or Library
Reserve
HOW TO REGISTER
If you are an undergraduate student,
please register for:
School/College:
COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCE
Department:
(420) GEOLOGY & GEOPHYSICS
Course:
(376) Topics in Geology
Session A1
Lecture LEC 1
Data Analysis for Earth Scientists
Class Number 35692
Entry
in Official Timetable
If you are a graduate
student, please register for:
School/College:
COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCE
Department:
(420) GEOLOGY & GEOPHYSICS
Course:
(875) Topics in Geology
Session A1
Lecture SEM 2
Data Analysis for Earth Scientists
Class Number 41369
Software
Matlab
Students with access to CAE
Students with access to Geology and
Geophysics computers
Student Version
Computer Programs and Scripts
Geodesy and Linear (Matrix) Algebra [Strang and
Borre]
Structural Geology [Pollard and Fletcher]
Numerical Recipes [Press et al.] Fortran and C source code programs
Numerical Recipes: The Art of
Scientific Computing" is the title of a series of books developed by
Numerical Recipes Software and published by Cambridge University
Press. "Numerical Recipes" also refers to the copyrighted computer
software that is in those books, and also sold separately, and is the
trademark for that software. "NR" and "nr.com" are also trademarks of
Numerical Recipes software. The books and software are available in a
variety of computer languages, notably C++, C, and Fortran (77 and 90),
but also versions in other computer languages. The C++, C, and Fortran
versions contain about 350 separate routines for scientific computing.
Geophysica [Witten]
Witten, A. (2002), Geophysica:
MATLABbased software for the simulation, display and processing of
nearsurface geophysical data, Computers & Geosciences, 28,
751762.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S00983004(01)001091
A MATLABbased computer code has been developed for the simulation and
processing of nearsurface geophysical data. The methods considered
include: seismic reflection and refraction, ground penetrating radar,
magnetometry, electromagnetic induction, gravity, and electrical
resistivity. The primary motivation for this effort is to support the
teaching of nearsurface geophysics; however, the code can also be used
as a tool to design field surveys and to display and process actual
data. The complete code is a sequence of “mfiles” and, as such, it is
easily modified or extended to suit the needs of other users.
Matlab scripts at
http://207.176.140.93/documents/oldftp/VOL28/v280603.zip
3D viewer [Witten]
Witten, A. (2004), A MATLABbased
threedimensional viewer Computers & Geosciences, 30, 693703.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2004.04.001
Rarely is subsurface structure one or twodimensional and
interpretation of information derived from geologic mapping, well logs,
and geophysical measurements can be enhanced when viewed in three
dimensions with proper perspective. A MATLABbased threedimensional
viewer is presented that allows the display of the threedimensional
volume as userselected orthogonal slices, rendering of the entire
volume with chair cuts, and the display of bounding surfaces in three
dimensions.
Matlab scripts at
http://207.176.140.93/documents/oldftp/VOL30/v300702.zip
M_MAP [Pawlowicz]
Pawlowicz, R. (2007). " M_Map: A
mapping package for Matlab."
http://www.eos.ubc.ca/~rich/map.html
You have collected your data, loaded it into Matlab , analyzed
everything to death, and now you want to make a simple map showing how
it relates to the world. But you can't. Instead you have to figure out
how to save all your data, and then read it into another program (like,
for example GMT ), and then spend all that extra time figuring out why
it doesn't give you what you expected it would...or you can invest in
Matlab's own mapping toolbox (with a similarly steep learning curve)...
or not!
Google Earth Plus
Intended for personal use, Google Earth
Plus is an optional, upgraded version of Google Earth available for
$20. Why buy it? In addition to the basic features, Google Earth Plus
includes:
 GPS data import  read in tracks and waypoints from select GPS
devices
 o Note 1:
Verified support for Magellan and Garmin devices only
 o Note 2:
Does not support export of tracks or waypoints to a GPS device
 Higher resolution printing (greater than screen resolution).
 Annotation – adds draw/sketch tools for richer annotations (can
be shared as KML).
 Data importer – read address points from .csv files.
Excel or equivalent
For manipulating data tables in
CommaSeparated Values (CSV) format.
ARC GIS (optional)
Computer Hardware
Computer
Will be required for homework.
Data Sets