JPE493/JPE1493 Seismology, Fall 2018

Course Description

Why do earthquakes occur and how are they related to tectonic motion of the Earth's surface? What is the physics behind the propagation of seismic waves through the Earth, and how can it be used to determine the internal structures of the Earth? This introductory course is aimed at understanding the physics behind seismic wave propagation, as well as asymptotic and numerical solutions to the elastodynamic equation. Travel time and amplitude of seismic waves are discussed based on seismic ray theory, while numerical methods are introduced to obtain accurate solutions to more complex velocity structures. Seismic tomographic methods, including their applications to hydrocarbon reservoir imaging, are also covered.


JPE395H1, APM346H1/APM351Y1/MAT351Y1

  • First class is on Sep 10th 2018, 3-4 pm

  • Grading scheme: 

    • Problem Set 1 (15%) + Practical 3 (5%), 20%

    • Problem Set 2 (10%) + Practical 4 (5%), 15%

    • Problem Set 3 (15%) + Practical 5 (5%), 20%

    • Problem Set 4 (10%) + Practical 6 (5%), 15%

    • Problem Set 5 (10%) + Practical 7 (5%), 15%

    • Oral exam, 15%

  • Please submit your PS reports to our course TA Xin Song (

  • We now fully embrace Python as the programming language for computer exercises/practicals in this course. So freshen up your memory on it now!

  • Homework lateness penalty: 10% per day.

  • Sign up for the oral exam to be held on Dec 5 in MP713 by this link (valid till Dec 3 11:59 pm EST)

Lecture Hours
  • Mondays/Wednesdays 3-4 pm at MP1115, the 11th floor of the physics tower.

  • Instructor: Junwei Huang 
    Office: MP 1023B
    Email: jhuang AT 
    Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 4-5 pm

Practical Hours
Course Syllabus
Reference Books

Official Textbook (accessible online through UofT Library Links)


Other useful seismology books:


© 2020 By Junwei Huang