[rotation] Request for Comment -- Nomenclature Guidelines

John R Evans jrevans at usgs.gov
Wed Jan 16 22:23:44 CET 2008

Dear Colleagues,

Attached (and at <ftp://ehzftp.wr.usgs.gov/jrevans/IWGoRS/>) is a short 
note we hope to publish in the upcoming BSSA special issue.

It is intended to guide the nomenclature authors use in that issue (and 
perhaps more generally) so that no one need publish any other color plots 
of axes nor difficult to understand monochrome plots and as a courtesy to 
readers.  Additionally, we hope to ease the communications between our 
various groups since there seems to be some variance of terminology.

The first half of the paper we hope will be largely uncontroversial though 
I am certain that improvements can be made.

In the latter half, I suggest the terms "pitch", "roll", and "yaw" as 
terse equivalent terms because they currently carry no baggage that I know 
of in seismology and engineering but are well defined from aeronautics and 
nautical design.  I am certainly not wedded to the terms and would be fine 
with simply using the formal pseudovector definitions from the first half 
of the paper.

I am urging that we drop terms like "spin" and "torsion" since these do 
not seem to be used consistently or at least not to be well defined in the 
English literature.  This choice too may be somewhat controversial, but I 
think we would do well to start from precedents in physics and other 
fields to stabilize our own usage.

At present this suggested terminology covers only point rotations, whereas 
we will also need terms for rotational stresses and strains.  I am 
completely open to suggestions for these terms, particularly where 
well-used precedent can be cited.

Please make any comments you have by the method of Change Tracking in the 
attached Word document if you can use it.  Otherwise, please see the 
Acrobat version and send me text comments.

Willie, Maria, Heiner, and I urge you to adopt whatever the Working Group 
finally chooses by this comment technique.  I reverently hope that the 2 
MB size of the attachments will not cause harm to anyone's e-mail system.

All the best,


Dr. John R. Evans
jrevans at usgs.gov

U.S. Geological Survey
345 Middlefield Rd, MS-977
Menlo Park  CA  94025

All Federal e-mail, outgoing and incoming,
is permanently archived.

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