Syllabus for Seismology



  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1GE044
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2014-03-13
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits in total. Of these, 80 credits in physics and mathematics, including Global geophysics, 10 credits; alternatively, 70 credits in Earth science, including Global geophysics, 10 credits, and 30 credits in mathematics and 15 credits in physics. Recommended previous knowledge: Applied and Environmental Geophysics, 10 credits.
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

On completion of 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, compulsory home work


Written examination corresponds to 8 credits and the compulsory part to 2 credits.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

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

    San Diego: Academic Press, cop. 1995

    Find in the library