GEO4620 – 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 will be able to:

  • understand how elastic waves propagate through the Earth
  • quantify how interfaces reflect, refract and convert waves and how elastic properties like attenuation and anisotropy affect wave propagation
  • use numerical modelling to simulate wave propagation
  • use ray theory and is aware of its strengths and limitations
  • understand the basic principles of seismic tomography
  • read and present recent publications on wave propagation


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with GEO9620 – Seismic Waves and Seismology


Lectures/colloquia, including problem solving. Up to 3 mandatory exercises/presentations which 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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (

We reserve the right to change the teaching form and examination of the course in semesters where 5 or fewer students have been admitted.


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

Examination support material

Any printed material, and calculator.

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 scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. 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.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language