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Principles of Seismology

TextbookNew Edition

By: Agustín Udías(Author), Elisa Buforn(Author)

525 pages, 290 b/w illustrations, 10 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Dec 2017 | Edition: 2 | #236821 | ISBN-13: 9781107138698
Available for pre-order: Details
NHBS Price: £54.99 $70/€61 approx

About this book

The second edition of Principles of Seismology has been extensively revised and updated to present a modern approach to observation seismology and the theory behind digital seismograms. It includes: a new chapter on Earthquakes, Earth's structure and dynamics; a considerably revised chapter on instrumentation, with new material on processing of modern digital seismograms and a list of website hosting data and seismological software; and 100 end-of-chapter problems. The fundamental physical concepts on which seismic theory is based are explained in full detail with step-by-step development of the mathematical derivations, demonstrating the relationship between motions recorded in digital seismograms and the mechanics of deformable bodies. With chapter introductions and summaries, numerous examples, newly drafted illustrations and new color figures, and an updated bibliography and reference list, this intermediate-level textbook is designed to help students develop the skills to tackle real research problems.

Reviews of the first edition:

"It contains everything I would want my graduate students to have as their initial core knowledge of seismology. Udías presents theoretical concepts in a crisp and complete manner [...] an excellent, broad overview of seismology."
– Toshiro Tanimoto, Physics Today

"[...] an excellent introductory seismology text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students."
– Keith Priestley, Geological Magazine

"[...] a very good, student-friendly, textbook [...] it should be an absolute necessity on the bookshelves of seismologists for some time to come."
– G. F. Panza, Earth Science Reviews

"[...] useful new volume which will be much appreciated by students and will serve as a model for all those involved in seismology teaching."
– Giancarlo Scalera, Annali di Geofisica

"[...] a very instructive textbook with considerable attention to educational value [...] well and consistently organized, with numerous illustrations, which makes it very suitable as a textbook for introductory seismology courses."
– Hong Kie Thio, Pure and Applied Geophysics

"I do recommend this textbook for courses in seismology. The level of the book corresponds to upper division undergraduate and first year graduate students. It is a good introduction for more advanced books in seismology. Researchers will also find it useful to go back to the fundamental concepts."
Journal of Seismology


1. Seismology. The science of earthquakes
2. Earthquakes, Earth's structure and dynamics
3. Instrumentation and digital data processing
4. Basic concepts and equations of an elastic medium
5. Waves in an infinite elastic medium
6. Reflection and refraction
7. Body wave propagation in layered media
8. Ray theory. Media of constant velocity
9. Ray theory media of variable velocity
10. Ray theory spherical media
11. Travel times and the structure of the Earth
12. Surface waves
13. Wave dispersion. Phase and group velocities
14. Free oscillations of the Earth. Theory and observations
15. Anelasticity and anisotropy
16. Focal parameters of earthquakes
17. Basic theory of earthquake mechanism
18. The seismic moment tensor
19. Simple models of fracture
20. Methods of determination of source mechanisms
21. Seismicity, seismotectonics, seismic risk, and prediction

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Agustín Udías is Emeritus Professor at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. He is the author of many papers about seismicity, seismotectonics of the Azores-Gibraltar, and the physics of seismic sources, and has also written several textbooks. Professor Udías has served as Editor-in-Chief of Física de la Tierra and the Journal of Seismology, and as the Vice-President of the European Seismological Commission. He is a member of the Accademia Europeae, the Seismological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, amongst other societies, and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Elisa Buforn is a professor of geophysics at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, where she teaches courses on geophysics, seismology, physics and numerical methods. Professor Buforn's research focuses on source fracture processes, seismicity and seismotectonics and she is Editor in Chief of Física de la Tierra and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Seismology. She is member of the Seismological Society of America, American Geophysical Union, Royal Astronomical Society and Real Sociedad Española de Física, amongst other societies.

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