72826 - Seismology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has basic knowledge about earthquakes and the physical models used to describe them. It also understands the reasons and the consequences of the estimates of seismic hazard at a national scale. In particular, the student is able to: - solve simple problems of operational seismology; - correctly apply the seismic standards in professional practice.

Course contents

1. Elements of continuum mechanics, stress, strain and elasticity.

2. Elastic wave propagation in the Earth: one-dimensional waves, waves in three dimensions, seismic rays, surface waves, free oscillations, and inelastic attenuation.

3. Earthquakes: Reid model (elastic rebound), seismic instruments, determination of hypocentral parameters, energy and magnitude, seismic moment, focal mechanisms, statistical properties of occurrence of the earthquakes.

4. Macroseismic intensity scales, determination of macroseismic parameters, historical seismic catalogs.

5. Earthquake prediction and seismic hazard assessment: deterministic forecast. Short, medium and long term forecasting. Seismic risk assessment, probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA), ingredients of hazard estimates, seismic zonation in Italy 2004, seismic regulations in Italy, current seismic law.

6. Internet seismological resources.


The teacher will provide lecture notes (in italian) on all arguments.

Lay T., Wallace T. C., Modern global seismology, Academic Press, 1995.

Stein S., Wysession M., An introduction to seismology, Earthquakes, and Earth structure, Blackwell Pub., 2003.

Teaching methods

Class lectures.

Assessment methods

Oral examination.

Teaching tools

Computer projector.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Gasperini

See the website of Barbara Lolli