Introduction to Seismology, Winter 2010

Guy Masters, x44122,

Bernard Minster, x45650,

We meet M,W,F from 9 to 9:50 in the IGPP Munk Lab Conference Room.

Website for class at

Text: Introduction to Seismology (2nd edition) by Peter Shearer. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 are online to give you time to buy the book! Please do not link to the online chapters from any other websites.

This course is intended as a comprehensive introduction to seismology. Our goal is to provide a general overview of the basics of seismology. The emphasis will be practical (how things are actually done), rather than on detailed theory or derivations. There are no formal prerequisites to this class but some familiarity with vector calculus and computer programming is assumed. Many of the problem sets involve writing computer programs. Alternative assignments (often more math intensive) will be provided for those of you without access to computers. Geophysics students, however, are strongly encouraged to do the computer assignments whenever possible. You may help each other with the assignments but the final work you turn in must be your own. I do not plan a final exam.

Greek alphabet

Chapters 1 and 2

Powerpoint for chapter 1

Some more formal notes on stress and strain

Chapter 3

Powerpoint for chapter 4

Powerpoint for chapter 5

Some additional notes on seismic tomography

Homework problem on tomography

Supplemental web material

Assignments (please return on time so we can discuss in class)

  1. Read Chapter 1 (due Wed., 1/06). Come prepared to ask a question on Wednesday about something (anything!) in the chapter.
  2. Chapter 2 exercises 1, 3, 6, 10 (due Wed., 1/13)
  3. Chapter 3 (exercises 2, 3, and 4) OR ex 7 (computer) (due Wed., 1/20)
  4. Chapter 4 (exercises 1, 2 and 5) OR ex 9 (computer) (due Wed., 1/27)
  5. Chapter 5 ex 1 (due Wed., 2/3)
  6. Chapter 6 ex 1,2 and the tomography problem (above) (due Wed., 2/10)