Mathematical Modeling of Earth's Dynamical Systems: A Primer

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"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

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Editorial Reviews

The authors do a good job of deriving the mathematical models from physical considerations, and then showing how the equations can be solved by finite difference methods.
Leading Edge
Where was this book when I was in university? . . . I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to students and researchers with an interest in this field.
— Ray Wood
Leading Edge - Ray Wood
Where was this book when I was in university? . . . I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to students and researchers with an interest in this field.
From the Publisher
"The authors do a good job of deriving the mathematical models from physical considerations, and then showing how the equations can be solved by finite difference methods."—Choice

"Where was this book when I was in university? . . . I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to students and researchers with an interest in this field."—Ray Wood, Leading Edge

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691145143
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/21/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

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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