Introduction to Seismology

Geol 4067- Spring 2002

Department of Geology and Geophysics
Instructor:  Dr. Juan M. Lorenzo
(from 8/15/01 - 1/1/02 reach me at

 This course is aimed an upper-division undergraduate students and first-year graduate students who enjoy geophysics and want a fundamental but also broad understanding of the application of seismic theory to extract earth structure.  

We will cover background mathematics (Div., grad, curl, Fourier Transforms, differential equations), elasticity theory, the wave equation, plane waves and ray theory, surface elastic waves,body elastic waves, free earth oscillations, seismic inversion for determination of layer thicknesses and elastic velocities, and seismometry.

Although there are several mathematics courses as prerequisites I will grant exceptions on an individual basis in order to make the course more accessible to a broader group of students.  I will therefore cover the necessary mathematical background as part of the course material.  Both graduate and senior undergraduate students are ecnouraged to register.  Homework problems during the semester will consider the different experience between majors and graduate students.

I recommend this course highly for students who are interested in taking Reflection Seismology Geol 4068, which will be taught in the Fall of 2002.

Reflection Seismology
Geol 4068 - Fall 2002

Reflection Seismology is has common applications in the oil, gas, and mineral industry as well as the blossoming field of shallow-earth geophysics and engineering for groundwater and contamination studies.

 We will  each acquire our own reflection seismic data set in the field and process the data to create a geological image of the subsurface.  In 2002 a new section in the course dealing with 3D acquisition and workstation interpretation of seismic attributes .  Although fundamental seismic theory will be covered conceptually, emphasis will be placed on applied signal analysis theory to interpret geology. Seismology theory will have been covered in the spring 2002 course.

For last year's notes and syllabus see:


* General theory

Lay, T., Wallace, Terry, 1995, Modern Global Seismology. Academic Press, 521 p.

Bullen, K.E., And Bolt, B.A., 1987, An introduction to the theory of seismology (4 edition), v. Cambridge, Great Britain, Cambridge University Press, 499 p.

* Dictionary

Sheriff, R.E., 1981, Encyclopedic dictionary of exploration geophysics Tulsa, OK, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 266 p.