Mutter, John Multichannel Seismics Group, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York.
Lerner-Lam, Art Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York.
- Theoretical seismology
- Information from seismic waveforms
- Two- and three-dimensional imaging
- Global and regional seismograms
- Imaging the seismic source
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The study of the shaking of the Earth's interior caused by natural or artificial sources. The revolution in understanding the Earth brought about by the paradigm of plate tectonics in the early 1960s provided a rationale that has since guided an intense period of investigation into the structure of the Earth's crust, mantle, and core. Plate tectonics provided Earth scientists with a kinematic theory for global tectonics that gave context to many of their studies. Ancient regions of crustal deformation could, for instance, be seen as the result of past plate boundary interactions, and the global distribution of earthquakes could be understood as the result of present plate interactions. The extraordinary insights into the nature of the solid Earth provided by kinematic plate tectonics also indicated new avenues in which to pursue basic questions concerning the dynamic processes shaping the Earth. Throughout the period in which plate tectonics was advanced and its basic tenets tested and confirmed, and into the latest phase of inquiry into basic processes, seismology (and particularly seismic imaging) has provided critical observational evidence upon which discoveries have been made and theory has been advanced. The use of the term image to describe the result of seismic investigations is closely linked mathematically to inversion and wavefield extrapolation and applies both to structures within the Earth and to the nature of seismic sources. See also: Plate tectonics
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