Theoretical Seismology (Geophysics 523)

2011 Class Web Page

Richard Aster
Geophysics Program
Department of Earth and Environmental Science
Socorro, New Mexico

(575) 835-5924

Learning Objectives

Fundamental concepts: Theoretical understanding of elasticity, elastic waves, and seismic sources.

Skills and Capabilities: Detailed understanding of linear stress-strain theory. Ability to model body and surface waves in plane media, including evanescent waves. Understanding of seismic ray theory in plane and spherical geometries. Ability to characterize and interpret seismic moment tensors.

Specific Topics: Continuum mechanics of linear elastic media, including stress, strain and traction. Derivation of linear elastic waves and their characteristics from the equation of motion. Determination of reflection and transmission properties of seismic waves obtained by the matching of traction, and displacement boundary conditions. Ray tracing in layered and spherically symmetric media. Theory of Love and Rayleigh surface waves. Characterization of seismic sources and their radiation characteristics, essentials of synthetic seismograms.

Spring 2011 Syllabus (pdf)

Review Materials

A MATLAB Primer (pdf)

A Basic Math Overview (pdf) (See also the Mathematical and Computational Appendix in Stein and Wysession)

An Index Notation Primer (pdf) by Ilan Ben-Yaacov and Francesc Roig

A Table of Elastic Moduli Conversions (pdf)

Rick Aster's Notes (compiled from original material and past professors' notes; also influenced by preprint versions of Stein and Wysession and other influences).

Stress, Strain, and Elasticity (2011; pdf)

The Seismic Wave Equation (2011; pdf)

Plane Waves in Layered Media (2011; pdf)

Surface Waves (2011; pdf)

Ray Theory (2011; pdf)

Source Theory (2011; pdf)

Required Textbook

Introduction to Seismology, 2nd Edition, by Peter Shearer Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Strongly Recommended Textbooks

Quantitative Seismology, by Kei Aki and Paul Richards. Second Edition, University Science Books, 2002.

An Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Earth Structure, by Seth Stein and Michael Wysession, Blackwell Publishing, 2003.

Interesting Links

Zoeppritz Explorer and Anisotropic Zoeppritz Explorer by the Consortium for Research in Elastic Wave Exploration Seismology at the Unversity of Calgary.

Seismology Java Applets from the Geophysics Department at TU Clausthal.


Matlab and Mathematical Primer Exercise

Exercise 1 (due 2/11/11)

Exercise 2 (due 2/28/11)

Exercise 3 (due 3/21/11)

Exercise 4 (due 4/4/11)

Exercise 5 (due 4/25/11)

Spring 2011 Presentations

Katyliz Anderson -- Analysis of Source Spectra (4/29; Cramer 124)

Shoba Maraj -- Applications of the Tau-p Inversion Method (4/29; Cramer 124)

Rob Anthony -- Non Double-Couple Source Mechanisms (5/3; MSEC 351)

Jake Anderson -- Source Effects on Surface Wavefields (5/3; MSEC 351)

Alex Rinehart -- An Introduction of Finite Difference Methods in Seismology (5/4; Cramer 124)

Holly Rotman -- Seismic Wave Attenuation in Cracks and Pores of Partially Saturated Rock (5/4; Cramer 124)

Ben Davis -- Seismic Gradiometry (5/5; MSEC 202)

Aida Quezada -- Slow Earthquakes (5/5; MSEC 202)

Emily Morton -- Dynamic Earthquake Triggering Due to Stress from Surface Wave Particle Displacement (5/5; MSEC 202)

Rebecca Johnson -- Theory of Response Spectrum Analysis (5/6; Cramer 124).

Adam Ringler -- T* and Attenuation (5/6; Cramer 124)

Other Recent Student Final Presentations

Kent Anderson Seismic Noise Trapping in Firn

Rafael Alvarado, Oceanic Microseisms

Sara McNamara, Non-Double Couple Seismic Sources and Theory

Mario Ruiz, Analysis of Particle Motion Recorded by Three Component Seismic Stations

Todd, White, Construction of Synthetic Seismograms for a P-SV System using the Wave Propagator Method

Wenzheng Yang, A Basic Study on Two-Point Seismic Ray Tracing

Julien Chaput, Green's Functions, Noise, and Seismic Interferometry

Omar Marcillo, The Effects of Thermal and Wind Fields in teh Propagation of Infrasonic Waves in the Atmosphere

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