Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

651-4103-00L  Earthquakes Source Physics

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersS. Wiemer
Periodicityyearly recurring course
CourseDoes not take place this semester.
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentThe course unit will be offered again in the autumn semester 2017.


AbstractThis course teaches the fundamental principles to understand physical processes leading to and governing earthquake source ruptures. To obtain that understanding we cover topics ranging from friction and fault mechanics up to earthquake source descriptions. The acquired understanding will be applied to a topic of choice to practice research skills.
ObjectiveThe aim of the course is to gain a thorough understanding of the physical processes leading to and governing earthquake source ruptures. Finally, this understanding will be applied to analyze a state-of-the-art earthquake physics topic of choice.
ContentWe will cover a range of topics, including:
- Earthquake basics: definitions, faults, elastic rebound theory, and source parameters.
- Introduction to elastodynamics: strain, stress, equation of motion.
- Mathematical description of the source:
- Representation theorem, point and extended sources, source spectra.
- Energy partitioning
- Source dynamics: Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics
- Fault mechanics and friction
- Seismic cycle: inter-, co-, and post-seismic processes
- Aseismic creep and slow slip transients
- Earthquake source inversion and data assimilation
- Recurrence models
- Modeling of dynamic ruptures and seismic cycles

After a theoretical understanding has been acquired, we invite students to apply this knowledge to their topic of preference by presenting a group of state-of-the-art and/or classical papers as a final project. This will require them to understand and evaluate current challenges and state-of-the-art practices in earthquake physics. Additionally, this stimulates participants to improve their skills to:
- critically analyze (to be) published papers
- disseminate knowledge within their own and neighboring research fields
- formulate their opinion, new ideas and broader implications
- present their findings to an audience
- ask questions and actively participate in discussions on new scientific ideas
Lecture notesCourse notes will be made available on a designated course web site. An overview of the discussed principles are available in the three books mentioned below.
Literature- The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting by Ch. Scholz (2002), Cambridge University Press

- Quantitative Seismology by K. Aki and P.G. Richards (2nd edition, 2002), University Science Books.

- Source Mechanisms of Earthquakes, Theory and Practice by Udias, Madariaga and Buforn (2014), Cambridge University Press.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis concerns a bi-yearly course that will be taught again in Fall 2017.

The course will be evaluated in 2 parts:
- a two hours final exam at the end of the course,
- a presentation discussing a topic of chose based on a group of suggested papers

The course is worth 3 credit points, and a satisfactory total grade (4 or better) is needed to obtain 3 ECTS. The final writing exam has a weight of 70% and the presentation weighs for 30%.

The course will be given in English.