I was told that

Seismic moment is determined by the observed spectral levels of the receiving waves.

But I don't quite understand what it means.

How is this done in practice? Do you need anything in addition to a seismogram to infer the seismic moment value (like elastic material parameters)?

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    $\begingroup$ Traditionally it was done by looking at the amplitudes of the body and surface wave arrivals. Nowadays it is usually done by full waveform inversion - i.e. matching synthetic seismograms to the observed ones in an inverse problem. $\endgroup$ – bon Dec 1 '17 at 6:30
  • $\begingroup$ @bon thanks! do you know what kind of models are used to create synthetic seismograms? do they rely on material parameters in some way? $\endgroup$ – ye-ti-800 Dec 1 '17 at 11:17
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    $\begingroup$ Yes you basically solve the wave equation, or some simplified version of it, in an medium with the properties of the Earth. I'm don't really know much more than that though because it's not my field. $\endgroup$ – bon Dec 10 '17 at 17:14

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