Seismic tomography

31 March - 31 August 2023 г.
The course has already started
89 days
Before the end of the enrollment
  • English

    course language

  • 10 weeks

    course duration

  • от 4 до 6 часов в неделю

    needed to educate

  • 3 credit points

    for credit at your university

Welcome to the course “Seismic tomography”.

We will speak about the use of seismic tomography and its mathematical base, we’ll learn about earthquakes and find out how they start, also we’ll conduct some experiments and go on an expedition to Kamchatka.


By the end of the course you’ll know the basics of seismology and how to use the technical instruments and programs in practice. So it doesn't matter what level you’re on. Complex things are explained with simple and accessible language. Geophysists, mathematicians, geologists, geochemists, petrologists, engineers and everyone interested will find a lot of new information and get the access to the author's research methods and scientific algorithms that are used by seismologists all over the world.

The adventure begins!


The course consists of 10 modules (10 weeks).

 Weekly activities include:

·   watching videolectures;

·   answering ungraded quiz questions to make sure that the student understands the lecture material;

·   reading additional materials;

·   practicing with technical instruments and programs;

·   completing weekly graded quizzes which contribute to the final grade. 

Also, the students have to pass the final test at the end of the course to evaluate their overall knowledge of the course material.

Seismic imaging of the Earth Laboratory


LOTOS, code for non-linear local earthquake tomographic inversion


Ivan Koulakov’s personal page: algorithms and publications


Course program

Module 1. Tomography as a tool to look inside the Earth

  • What is this course about?

  • What can we see inside a little stone?

  • Doing tomography with a hammer and explosions

  • Earthquakes show us the Earth deep inside


Module 2. History of measuring earthquakes

  • How did people learn to measure earthquakes?

  • First attempts to look deep into the Earth

  • Body waves. How do they propagate inside the Earth?

  • Surface waves


Module 3. Look inside a volcano

  • Land of Fire — Kamchatka

  • Installing seismic stations on volcanoes. Almost a Hollywood adventure

  • KISS of the Kamchatkan volcanoes

  • Tomogram a few days before a volcano explosion (case of Bezymianny volcano in Kamchatka)

  • Huge steam boiler within Gorely volcano

  • Three independent views on the magma system of Avacha volcano


Module 4. Tomography: the must-know things

  • Too many unknowns, too little information: is the problem unsolvable?

  • Simplify – linearize – discretize

  • Miraculous inversion: solving millions of equations on a simple PC


Module 5. Basic Tomo

  • Start working with Basic Tomo

  • BASIC TOMO. Recover the smiling face

  • Playing tomography chess


Module 6. PROFIT code

  • Ray tracing: shoot or bend?

  • PROFIT code: basic principles

  • PROFIT code: basic principle. Software + dataset

  • PROFIT code: start working with data

  • PROFIT code: process our experimental data

  • Go to the field with a big hammer to make a real seismic experiment


Module 7. Doing tomography with natural sources

  • Earthquakes: trouble for people, but precise tool for scientists to study the Earth. Mechanism - rock fracture

  • How to localize earthquakes?


Module 8. LOTOS

  • LOTOS: tool to explore 3D structures and localize earthquakes

  • LOTOS: Basic principles

  • LOTOS: look inside a supervolcano

  • LOTOS: look at Stromboli


Module 9. Surface wave tomography

  • Noise is another seismic source

  • Surface wave tomography: two-step workflow

  • Problem of testing: how far our images from the absolute truth?


Module 10. Conclusion 

Education results

The students who completed the course successfully, will acquire the following knowledge and skills:

  • knowing the history of seismic tomography;

  • understanding the basics of seismology;

  • understanding the dynamics of earthquakes: how do they start and develop;

  • using the instruments and software (BASIC TOMO, PROFIT code, LOTOS) in practice.

Formed competencies

ПК-1. Способность использовать знания в области геологии, геофизики, геохимии, гидрогеологии и инженерной геологии, геологии и геохимии горючих ископаемых, экологической геологии для решения научноисследовательских задач (в соответствии с направленностью (профилем) подготовки).

Education directions

The cost is 3600 rubles. You can pay for training in the "My courses" section in your personal account.

Koulakov Ivan

Doctor of Sciences (Geology and Mineralogy), Corresponding member of RAS
Position: Senior Lecturer of the Department of Geophysics GGF NSU

course completion certificate


It is possible to get a certificate for this course.

The cost of passing the procedures for assessing learning outcomes with personal identification - 3600 Р.

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