67089 - Applied Seismology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student is capable to use the traditional and modern seismic prospection techniques (in hole and surface, active and passive, single station and in array methods), is capable to run numerical elementary seismic responsemodels and to accomplish the requirements of national and international building codes and seismic microzonation national guidelines. In particular, the student is capable to: - conduct seismic surveys to get the fundamental geophysical parameters of the subsoil (seismic wave propagation velocity, elastic constants, resonanse frequencies), - to use seismic techniques for stratigaphic purposes, - to perform numerical models of seismic site response, - to classify the soils in a seismic perspective, - to understand and measure the dynamic behaviors of structures.

Course contents

  • Signal theory: basic concepts
  • ground motionunder passive (microtremors) and active (earthquake) conditions
  • wave equation and elastic moduli
  • introduction to the measurement of earthquake size in engineering perspective
  • factors that control ground motion (stratigraphic and topographic effects)
  • structure motion and their interaction with subsoils (includes experiments)
  • national and international building codes: structure design and urban planning (seismic microzonation)
  • seismic methods for soil characterization: traditional techniques, single station passive seismics, array active seismics, array passive 1D and 2D seismics
  • simplfied site effects assessment report
  • seismic hazard
  • seismic site response numerical modeling
  • critical examination of texts: give a meaning to numbers
  • final geophysical game
  • field survey


The material to be studied (mostly in English) is provided by the teacher after each lesson, together with the slides.

Teaching methods

The course is based on frontal lessons and on a practical tests on field and structures.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists in a written (3 problems or questions) and in an oral part.

Office hours

See the website of Silvia Castellaro