Master’s studies

Syllabus for Seismology



  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1GE058
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1F, Earth Science A1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), 3, 4, 5
  • Established: 2016-03-10
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2016
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including (1) 80 credits in physics and mathematics, or (2) 70 credits in earth science and 45 credits in physics and mathematics, in both cases including Global Geophysics, 10 credits, and Continuum Mechanics in Geophysics, 5 credits. Applied and Environmental Geophysics, 10 credits, is recommended.
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

After having followed the course the student should be able to

  • discuss the concept and limitations of basic theory for seismic wave propagation
  • use principles of seismological instrumentation to select suitable equipment for various applications
  • apply methods of forward modelling and inversion to locate earthquakes and infer earth structure
  • account for how the inner structure of Earth can be derived from seismological data and discuss the uncertainty and resolution limitations of various methods
  • locate the earthquake source and calculate in detail the mechanism from seismic observations.


Sources of seismic waves. Seismic wave propagation. The wave equation in different forms. Exact and approximate (numerical) solution methods such as ray tracing and tomography. Examples of the results of the modelling of seismological data. Body and surface waves in heterogeneous media. Data storage and analysis. Networks and arrays. Earthquake source parameters. Macroseismic studies. Risk and hazard. Seismotectonics. Earthquake statistics.


Lectures, exercises, homework.


Written examination (8 credits) and homework assignments (2 credits).

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 31, 2016

  • Lay, Thorne; Wallace, Terry C. Modern global seismology

    San Diego: Academic Press, cop. 1995

    Find in the library