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Seismology and Earth Structure (323-0-01)


Suzan van der Lee
Tech F494
Office Hours: By appointment

Meeting Info

Technological Institute F491: Tues, Thurs 12:30PM - 1:50PM

Overview of class

EARTH323 is a quantitative, physics-oriented course in which we will derive and solve the wave equation for a layered, spherical solid (a planet), learn about P, S, Love, and Rayleigh waves, how they propagate, attenuate and/or amplify, and how they can be recorded and analyzed to infer fundamental characteristics of earthquakes as well as of the structure of the planet in which they occur (mostly Earth). We will also cover the basic theory and practice of the seismic methods used in fossil fuel exploration.

Key words: elastic theory, stress, strain, wave equation, seismic waves, wave propagation, ray paths, refraction, reflection, Snell's law, reflection coefficients, seismometers, body waves, travel times, surface waves, dispersion, normal modes, attenuation, anisotropy, crust, mantle, core, seismic tomography, seismograms.

Registration Requirements

Recommended Background:
Calculus (functions, differentiation, integration, Taylor expansion, etc.), ordinary differential equations, and some exposure to complex numbers. Courses at NU that would fulfill this recommended background are: (MATH 220/226/230/250 and PHYS 135-1/-2/-3). No prior earth science experience required.

Teaching Method

Two 80-minute lectures, weekly problem sets.

Evaluation Method

Problem sets, three exams.

Class Materials (Required)

An Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes and Earth Structure by Stein and Wysession
ISBN: 9780865420786

Class Attributes

Natural Sciences Distro Area