Syllabus for Earthquake Sources



  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1GE050
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1F, Earth Science A1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2015-03-12
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 180 credits including 75 credits in physics and mathematics. Seismology, 10 credits, and Continuum Mechanics in Geophysics, 5 credits, or Simulation of Geophysical Systems, 10 credits.
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Describe important models for the development of fractures in rocks.
  • Describe the dGPS and INSAR measurements and account for their measurement uncertainties.
  • Derive the relation between the seismic moment tensor and the deformation in a homogeneous medium.
  • Derive an expression for the deformation around an edge dislocation in a homogeneous medium.
  • Determine source parameters from observations of deformation in the near field of an earthquake.
  • Determine source parameters for large earthquakes using broad band seismological observations, including the eigenoscillations of the Earth.


Brittle fracture of rock, rock friction, mechanics of faulting, mechanics of earthquakes, the seismic cycle, Green's functions for elastic waves. Determination of parameters by means of near field data. Determination of parameters for point sources by means of teleseismic data. Measuring deformations on the Earth's surface by means of GPS and INSAR. Deformation on the Earth's surface and equivalent point sources. Distributed sources and mathematical models thereof. Seismotectonics. Earthquake prediction and hazard analysis.


Lectures, homework, problem solving and computer exercises.


Written examination (3 credits), homework assignments (2 credits), and oral presentation (1 credit).

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.

  • Scholz, C. H The mechanics of earthquakes and faulting

    2. ed.: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002

    Print version

    Find in the library


  • Scholz, Christopher H.. The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002

    Alternative online version.

    Find in the library