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Introduction to Seismology

2nd Edition

$89.99 (C)

  • Date Published: July 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521708425
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$ 89.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book provides an approachable and concise introduction to seismic theory, designed as a first course for undergraduate students. It clearly explains the fundamental concepts, emphasizing intuitive understanding over lengthy derivations. Incorporating over 30% new material, this second edition includes all the topics needed for a one-semester course in seismology. Additional material has been added throughout including numerical methods, 3-D ray tracing, earthquake location, attenuation, normal modes, and receiver functions. The chapter on earthquakes and source theory has been extensively revised and enlarged, and now includes details on non-double-couple sources, earthquake scaling, radiated energy, and finite slip inversions. Each chapter includes worked problems and detailed exercises that give students the opportunity to apply the techniques they have learned to compute results of interest and to illustrate the Earth's seismic properties. Computer subroutines and datasets for use in the exercises are available at

    • A concise and readable book for introductory seismology classes that explains key concepts without getting overwhelmed by theory
    • Incorporates exercises at end of each chapter with solutions available online
    • Includes examples of real seismic data, which help relate concepts to observations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘… a concise and practical survey text that does a fine job of covering the basics … it is ideally suited for an intermediate to advanced undergraduate class …’ Seismological Research Letters

    'Shearer has a knack for clear explanations and for making otherwise difficult concepts easy to understand.' EOS

    ‘As an introductory course textbook for upper-level undergraduate students it may be the best textbook available now.’ Physics Today

    ‘The fundamental concepts are clearly explained, emphasizing intuitive understanding …’ Applied Mechanics Reviews

    ‘… an excellent introduction for non-seismologists to grasp concepts behind seismological techniques.’ Episodes

    ‘An attractive and readable way to understand how seismic methods can reveal the inner Earth and how reading the records may help to predict earthquakes.’ - New Scientist

    'As a textbook for a relatively advanced undergraduate course, this new edition of Shearer's volume continues to have few peers. introduces the science of seismology in a clear, logical and concise manner." - The Leading Edge

    "...the book is written so well that it can be expected to remain a basic Seismology text over the next decade." Pure and Applied Geophysics

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    Customer reviews

    28th Feb 2014 by Herling

    Excellent book, It is easy to read and understand, covers most topics well, and is generally a good introductory textbook. It does, however, lack depth. Often Id finish a chapter and still have a lot of questions on how, exactly, I could apply what Id learned to a problem. I found this frustrating.

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521708425
    • length: 412 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 173 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.82kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 10 tables 79 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface to the first edition
    Preface to the second edition
    1. Introduction
    2, Stress and strain
    3. The seismic wave equation
    4. Ray theory: travel times
    5. Inversion of travel time data
    6. Ray theory: amplitude and phase
    7. Reflection seismology
    8. Surface waves and normal modes
    9. Earthquakes and source theory
    10. Earthquake prediction
    11. Instruments, noise, and anisotropy
    Appendix A. The PREM model
    Appendix B. Math review
    Appendix C. The eikonal equation
    Appendix D. Fortran subroutines
    Appendix E. Time series and Fourier transforms

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    Introduction to Seismology

    Peter M. Shearer

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  • Author

    Peter M. Shearer, University of California, San Diego
    Peter M. Shearer is a Professor of Geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He has written over one hundred scientific papers on various aspects of seismology and is currently the President-Elect of the seismology section of the American Geophysical Union. He has taught the introductory seismology class at Scripps for over 15 years; this book is based on material and problem sets that were developed for this class.

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