Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
Saint Louis University

Introduction to Earthquakes


Course Topics:

  • An overview of earthquake processes
  • What to do during an earthquake
  • Science, nature, and critical thinking
  • The origin of Earth
  • Measuring earthquakes - seismograms
  • Exploring Earth's interior using earthquakes
  • Why earthquakes occur - plate tectonics
  • Faults, earthquakes, and rock deformation
  • Earthquake size and frequency
  • Earthquake Hazards
  • Earthquake Forecasting & Prediction
  • Reducing Earthquake Hazards


You will need an electronic mail (email) account from the University. To register for an account, visit the people in Room 34 of Des Peres Hall.

Classroom Etiquette

Please feel free to ask questions - questioning is the essence of science.

Don't come to class to socialize and chat, that's rude and unfair to students who want to listen and participate. If you persist in talking during class, I will ask you to leave.


Students are expected to be honest in their academic work. The University reserves the right to penalize any student whose academic conduct at any time is, in its judgment, detrimental to the University. Such conduct shall include cases of plagiarism, collusion, cheating, giving or receiving or offering or soliciting information in examinations, or the use of previously prepared material in examinations or quizzes. Violations should be reported to your course instructor, who will investigate and adjudicate them according to the Policy on Academic Honesty of the College of Arts and Sciences. If the charges are found to be true, the student may be liable for academic or disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion by the University.

A Few Comments

This course is designed for non-science students and intended to satisfy core-curriculum breadth requirements. An important goal of the core is to broaden and deepen your understanding and appreciation of yourself and others, as well as nature and our place in it.

I do not intend to make you a scientist or even teach you every detail about earthquakes. Instead, I hope to use an in-depth study of earthquakes to teach you about science and how we study natural processes. Along the way, I'll show you some interesting applications of physics, chemistry, and mathematics.

I expect much from you because you and/or your family are investing too much in your education for you to not be required to think. Exams are not easy and you will not do well by cramming. I strongly encourage you to attend class, ask questions, keep up, and review the course material throughout the semester.

Back to EAS 193 Home | Ammon's Home | Department of Geosciences
Prepared by: Charles J. Ammon