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Unit information: Seismology in 2015/16

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Unit name Seismology
Unit code EASCM0018
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1A (weeks 1 - 6)
Unit director Professor. Kendall
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of third year of a Single Honours MSci Geology programme or A-level Mathematics



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The course covers basic concepts in seismology and then applies them to the study of Earth structure. The basic concepts include the wave equation, ray theory, calculation of travel times and propogation distances, and the variation of amplitudes as waves propagate. Then a series of techniques are introduced to locate earthquakes, determine seismic wave speeds in the deep earth and to infer the types of movements that occur at plate boundaries. Finally, we summarise what is known about the deep Earth from seismology.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion you should be able to:

  • Calculate the path of a seismic wave through any material.
  • Identify different seismic wave types in a seismogram.
  • Identify different tectonic environments from focal mechanisms.
  • Explain how seismology elucidates the structure of the Earth.
  • Summarize theories for the structure of the mantle and the core.

Teaching Information

Lectures and practicals

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed by practicals (20%) and a 2 hour final exam (80%).

Reading and References

Primary text: Shearer, P. M. "Introduction to seismology (second ed.)" (Cambridge); Supplemental topics from: Stein, S. and Wysession, M. "Introduction to seismology, earthquakes and earth structure" (Blackwells)