Methods are developed to analyze the effects of thermal noise and seismic noise in masking small earth vibrations. The procedure is applied to a simple seismometer, seismometers with electronic and galvanometer amplifiers, and a seismometer with a shunt capacity.

A numerical example is worked out for the Benioff one-second instrument. In the 0.1 second to 10 second band, thermal noise is not limiting.

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