Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Rotational Seismology

  • William H. K. LeeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_304


Rotational seismology is an emerging study of all aspects of rotational motions induced by earthquakes, explosions, and ambient vibrations. It is of interest to several disciplines, including seismology, earthquake engineering, geodesy, and earth-based detection of Einstein’s gravitation waves.

Rotational effects of seismic waves, together with rotations caused by soil–structure interaction, have been observed for centuries (e.g., rotated chimneys, monuments, and tombstones). Figure  1a shows the rotated monument to George Inglis observed after the 1897 Great Shillong earthquake. This monument had the form of an obelisk rising over 19 metres high from a 4 metre base. During the earthquake, the top part broke off and the remnant of some 6 metres rotated about 15° relative to the base. The study of rotational seismology began only recently when sensitive rotational sensors became available due to advances in aeronautical and astronomical instrumentations.
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  1. Lee, W. H. K., Celebi, M., Igel, H., and Todorovska, M. I. (eds.), 2009a. Special issue on Rotational Seismology and Engineering Applications. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 99(2B), 945–1485.Google Scholar
  2. Lee, W. H. K., Igel, H., and Trifunac, M. D., 2009b. Recent advances in rotational seismology. Seismological Research Letters, 75, 486–497.Google Scholar
  3. Teisseyre, R., Takeo, M., and Majewski, E. (eds.), 2006. Earthquake Source Asymmetry, Structural Media and Rotation Effects. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA