Journal of Seismology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 477–486

On the recording characteristics of the original Wiechert seismographs at Göttingen (Germany)

  • Joachim R.R. Ritter


The mechanical, automatically recording seismological instruments developed by Emil Wiechert in Göttingen at the beginning of the 20th century are still in use today. I comparethe recording characteristics of these seismographswith a modern, electrodynamic MARK L4-3D instrument. The frequency-dependent transfer functions are determined and used to restitute the`true' ground displacement. The displacement waveforms at the different instruments are well correlated at frequencies between 0.05 and 4.0 Hz.Amplitudes differ by a factor of less than two. This is sufficientfor the determination of seismological magnitudes which are defined on a logarithmicbasis. The timing accuracy is less favourable due to theslow recording speed on the smoked paper. However, relativetime differences within one second may be resolved, allowing the use of variousmodern seismological interpretation techniques.

historical instruments transfer function waveforms Wiechert seismographs 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim R.R. Ritter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für GeophysikGeorg-August-Universität GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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