GEO9620 - Seismic Waves and Seismology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course gives a basis for understanding how elastic waves, generated by earthquakes or controlled sources, propagate through the earth and thus provide information about its interior

Learning outcome

When you have completed this course:

  • you know how strain and stress are related in elastic materials and are familiar with the elastic wave equation
  • you can quantify how interfaces reflect, refract and convert waves
  • you know how elastic properties like attenuation and anisotropy affect wave propagation
  • you have seen how numerical modelling can be used to simulate wave propagation
  • you can use ray theory and is aware of its strengths and limitations
  • you understand how elastic waves are used to probe the Earth and have detailed knowledge about at least one modern method to do so


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with GEO4620 - Seismic waves and seismology


Lectures/colloquia, including problem solving. The students will present articles elaborating on subjects in the course. Up to 4 mandatory exercises. The presentations and the mandatory exercises have to be approved before you can sit for the final exam.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:


  • Up to 4 mandatory exercises/presentations must be approved before sitting the final written examination for the course.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts for 100%.

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language