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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5670M Global Seismology

10 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Sebastian Rost

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students require a solid background in university level maths and geophysics (particularly calculus and basic seismology).

This module is mutually exclusive with

SOEE3260Global Seismology

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will combine lectures and practical seismic data processing to teach the fundamental principles of global seismology including the theory of seismic wave propagation, seismic instrumentation, seismic sources and the effects of material properties and structure on seismic wave propagation. Theoretical principles are emphasized with a focus of modern seismic imaging of the Earth's interior. The practical sessions focus on digital seismic data analysis to study seismic sources and Earth structure.


To provide training and understanding of the background and theory of seismic wave propagation, seismic sources and their theoretical description, seismic hazard and risk and seismic imaging techniques to study the Earth's interior. To provide students with the background and knowledge to critically assess current seismological literature and to assess the potential and restrictions of seismic imaging techniques. To provide experience and insight into modern seismic processing and interpretation of results from digital earthquake recordings.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to: - Understand the principles of seismic wave propagation and basic principles of calculation of synthetic seismic data - Process earthquake seismic data to interrogate seismic source properties and seismic structure and properties - Quantitatively analyse seismic data - Understand the basic principles of seismic hazard and risk and approaches to estimate these from seismic data - Critically assess a variety of seismic imaging techniques and assess performance and limitations of approaches in seismic processing.


1. Analysis of stress and strain; Hooke's Law; Elastic properties;
2. Seismic wave equation, P and S waves in uniform media;
3. Travel times and ray-theory;
4. Seismic tomography;
5. Seismic wave propagation in heterogeneous media;
6. Surface waves, dispersion relation, group and phase velocity, normal modes;
7. Seismic sources, Moment tensor and fault plane solution;
8. Seismic hazard;
9. Seismic imaging.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Computer Class92.0018.00
Private study hours64.00
Total Contact hours36.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Class notes, computer based learning material, directed reading of current literature, follow-up of practical material, background reading of theory and practical applications, revision.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Continuous monitoring during computer practicals with immediate formative assessment and feedback.1 x Computer Exercise Scientific report based on computer practical.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Computer ExerciseLab report and problem sheet based on computer practicals.40.00
Computer ExerciseScientific Report based on computer practicals in common geophysical journal format60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Student should resit component of summative assessment failed in the first attempt. Format remains the same. Potentially requires access (perhaps remotely) to SEE computer lab to reprocess data.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:25:50


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