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Postgraduate course

Instrumentation and Data Processing in Earthquake Seismology

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeGEOV359
  • Number of semesters1
  • Language


    This course was given last time spring 2021.

  • Resources

Main content

Objectives and Content

This course deals with fundamentals in earthquakes observation from the instrumentation to data processing. Theory and practice are linked by having lectures, lab and computer exercises in parallel. While the course in principle aims to prepare students for the operation of seismic stations and more advanced data processing in earthquake seismology, it teaches general skills in physics and signal processing. The course may also be of interest to students in exploration seismology.

The course starts with the basics of the seismometer and digitizing equipment, then deals with broader aspects of seismic observation and networks. Practically, the student learns how to set up a seismometer and recording equipment. This is used to record the Earth micro-seismic noise, which is then the starting point for the computer based data processing part. The course deals also with topics such as identification of seismic phases, earthquake location, fault plane solution, source spectrum and magnitude determination.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
The student can

  • discuss basic electronics and signal processing that are relevant to earthquake seismology
  • explain the various methods and equipment used in observational earthquake seismology
  • discuss general concepts of inverse theory and other mathematical approaches used in observational seismology
  • can explain the components of a seismic station

The student can

  • build seismic field stations
  • can process basic earthquake data

General competence
The student can

  • communicate basic concepts of earthquake seismology to non-experts
  • write scientific reports
  • handle scientific instruments and datasystems

Required Previous Knowledge

Basic principles of seismology.

Access to the Course

Access to the course requires admission to a Masters Programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Teaching and learning methods

12 weeks:

  • Lecture, 2 hours/week
  • Exercises, 2 hours/week

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The students are required to write exercise reports. Compulsory assignments are valid for three (3) semesters, including the semester they were approved.

Forms of Assessment

Exercises 25% and written examination (4 hours) 75%. Examination is organized digitally, visit: http://www.uib.no/en/student/87471/digital-assessment-students

Both exam parts must be passed to get final assessment in the course.

Examination Support Material

Non-programmable calculator, according to the faculty regulations.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester, and only the written exam are offered.

Reading List

The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

Course Administrator

The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program


The student coordinator can be contacted here:


Tlf 55 58 35 19

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination and exercise

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Written examination

      22.02.2022, 09:00
      4 hours
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Exercise