seismology | Energy Glossary

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1. n. [Geophysics]

The study of seismic or elastic waves, such as from earthquakes, explosions or other causes. Interpretation of the structure and composition of the Earth from artificially created seismic waves is a chief concern of seismologists exploring for hydrocarbons and other resources. English physicist John Mitchell (1724 to 1793) is known as the founder of seismology in part because of his observation that one can determine an earthquake's epicenter, or point of origin in the subsurface, by measuring the arrival time of earthquake waves at different locations. The invention of the modern seismograph in 1880 promoted further studies of earthquakes.

See: birefringenceearthquakeelasticreflection tomographyseismographshadow zonewave