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Published 2015 | metadata_only
Book Section - Chapter

Earthquake Seismology: An Introduction and Overview


This introductory chapter covers the science of earthquake seismology: the study of earthquakes using seismic waves. In it, we touch on some of the many interesting and varied research questions that earthquake seismology seeks to address. We begin by reviewing the basic understanding of where, why, and how earthquakes occur in the context of the theory of plate tectonics. Earthquakes have had, and will continue to have, an important impact on human affairs, so it is natural to note some of the more significant earthquakes in history, as gauged by different measures, while doing this. From here, we delve into more quantitative aspects of earthquake source theory and how seismologists use the radiated wave field to understand the mechanics of earthquakes and faulting. The wide range of temporal and spatial scales that are important to the faulting process mean that there are necessarily a wide range of approaches and perspectives in the study of earthquakes. In this overview chapter, we can only give them cursory treatment, but subsequent chapters explore these different perspectives in detail. We end the overview by introducing research issues in the closely related fields of tsunami generation, Nuclear Test Ban Treaty verification, and earthquake risk mitigation. All of these are closely intertwined with the science of earthquake seismology.

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© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023