Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics

2011 Edition
| Editors: Harsh K. Gupta

Seismogram Interpretation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-8702-7_219


Anatomy of seismograms; Reading seismic records; Structure of seismograms


Seismogram interpretation. Identification of various phases appearing on seismograms (measurable changes in frequency and/or amplitude), including the recognition of the waves with respect to possible travel paths through the Earth.


A seismogram is the recording of earth motion (displacement, velocity, or acceleration) as a function of time. Its appearance reflects the combined effects of the source, the propagation path, the characteristics of the recording instrument (see Seismic Instrumentation), and the ambient noise due to the specific conditions at the particular recording site. To decipher the often complicated form of seismogram traces requires an extensive knowledge of source physics, structure of the Earth, wave propagation, and earthquake geography. In the early years of observational seismology, say, prior to 1960, the analyst was essentially reading short- and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth Sciences, Section of SeismologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Underwater ResearchFOIStockholmSweden