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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3260 Global Seismology

10 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Sebastian Rost

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

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

SOEE5670MGlobal Seismology

This module is not approved as a discovery module

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 emphasised 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 homogeneous 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 hours66.00
Total Contact hours34.00
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

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 practicals50.00
Computer ExerciseScientific report based on computer practical in common geophysical journal format50.00
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: 26/05/2022 14:15:15


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