EAS 8803: Seismology II, Spring 2008

Zhigang Peng
ES&T 2256

Syllabus (PDF version)
Supplementary Lecture Material

General Information

Time and Location Monday/Wednesday 10:05 am 11:25 am, ES & T, 1229

Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 11:25 am 12:25 pm (immediately after class)

Course Description: This is an advanced graduate-level course designed to involve students into seismological research. The topics covered include digital signal processing, seismometers and seismic networks, basic and advanced seismic data processing tools, travel time and synthetic seismogram calculations.

Required Textbook:
  • Stein, S.A.,& M. Wysession, An Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Earth Structure, Blackwell Publishing, 498 pp., 2003.
Recommended Textbook:
  • Aki, K.,& P. Richards, Quantitative Seismology, Second Edition, University Science Books, 2002.
  • Lay, T., & T.C. Wallace, Modern Global Seismology , Academic Press, 1995.
    Additional material will be either handed out in class or made available on the course website.

Course Outline:

This is an approximate outline of topics and timing and is subject to change throughout the semester.
Classes Date Topic Assignments
1 01/07/2008 Introduction
2 01/09/2008 Fourier analysis
3 01/14/2008 Linear systems
4 01/17/2008 Discrete time series and transforms
01/21/2008 no clas on 01/21/2008, offical school holiday
5 01/23/2008 Historical development of seismometers; the Earth’s background noise Homework 1 assigned
6 01/28/2008 The damped harmonic oscillator
7 01/30/2008 Basic types of seismic sensors and digital recording devices
8 02/04/2008 Global and regional seismic networks and data management centers
9 02/06/2008 Instrument response Homework 1 due. Homework 2 assigned.
10 02/11/2008 Basic data processing tools
11 02/13/2008 Data management
12 02/18/2008 Waveform stacking
13 02/20/2008 Array analysis Homework 2 due. Homework 3 assigned.
02/25/2008 Peng attends workshop, no class
02/27/2008 Peng attends workshop, no class
14 03/03/2008 Seismic source and representation theorems
15 03/05/2008 Ray theory and travel time calculation
16 03/10/2008 Theoretical seismogram calculation: 1 Homework 3 due.
17 03/12/2008 Theoretical seismogram calculation: 2 Approval of the term project topic; homework 4 assigned.
03/17/2008 Spring break, no class
03/19/2008 Spring break, no class
18 03/24/2008 Earthquake location and tomography
19 03/26/2008 Scattering Homework 4 due.
20 03/31/2008 Current topics in observational and computational seismology: 1
21 04/02/2008 Current topics in observational and computational seismology: 1
22 04/07/2008 Current topics in observational and computational seismology: 2 Approval of the term project paper draft
23 04/09/2008 Current topics in observational and computational seismology: 2
24 04/14/2008 Current topics in observational and computational seismology: 3
25 04/16/2008 Current topics in observational and computational seismology: 3
26 04/21/2008 Student presentation
27 04/23/2008 Student presentationTerm project paper due.


Your course grade will be based on three criteria: homework (40%), paper reading and discussion (30%), and project (30%).

Homework: There will be four homework problems, which will involve analysis of selected issues, including analytical calculations, computer simulations, or data analysis. The homework is designed for each student to work by him/herself. The homework will count as 40% of your overall course grade, with each counting 10%.

Paper Reading and Discussion: In the last part of the class, we will discuss three topics of modern research in the field of observational and computational seismology. You are required to submit (electronically) a 2-page summary after each topic. Paper reading and discussion comprises 30% of your total grade, and is based on 15% of your summary, and 15% of in-class participation.

Term Paper Project: You are required to write a term paper with any topic related to this course. These can be literature reviews, or research projects involving calculations, data analysis, or theoretical results done in consultation with the instructor. The topic needed to be approved by the instructor before the spring break. Your paper should be written up in journal form with length, figures and referencing in a format suitable for submission to journals like Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). Please check the GRL submission guidance online at http://www.agu.org/pubs/au_contrib_rev.html . Preliminary version of the final paper should be shown to the instructor for approval at least two weeks beforehand. You will present your term paper in a 15 minute AGU-style talk; a 12 minute presentation with 3 minutes of questions. The project will count as 30% of your overall course grade. Grading for your project will be based on the 15% of the written paper, 10% of presentation, and 5% of participation during the project, and during other’s presentations.


It is expected that all students are aware of their individual responsibilities under the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code, which will be strictly adhered to in this class. The complete text of the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code is at http://www.deanofstudents.gatech.edu/integrity/policies/honor_code.html.

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