Earthquake Source Physics

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1GE027

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Earth Science A1N, Physics A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 30 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

120 credits including 80 credits in physics and mathematics.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Account for the basic mechanism of fracturing in rocks.
  • Describe important models for the development of fractures in rocks.
  • Describe the dGPS technique 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 expression for the deformation around an edge dislocation in a homogeneous medium.
  • Determine source parameters from observations of deformations in the near field of an earthquake.
  • Determine source parameters for large earthquakes using broad band seismological observations, including the eigenoscillations of the Earth.


Fracture mechanics applied to rocks.

Dynamic description of fracture development.

Represenation of earthquake sources using idealised point sources.

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.

The relation between deformations on the Earth's surface and equivalent point sources.

Distributed sources and mathematical models thereof.


Lectures, home work, problem solving and computer exercises


Written examination (8 ECTS) and compulsory part (2 ECTS).

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.