Module OSX-4020:
Geophysical Surveying

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Dei Huws

Overall aims and purpose

This module concerns itself with the principles of geophysical surveying within the context of applied marine geoscience; specifically for its use in engineering and environmental geophysics. As such, the practical elements of the module relate to relatively shallow sub-surface coverage (typically <100m) and high resolution (sub-metric), though the theory taught is generally scale-independent. This module forms an important part of the programme specification in Applied Marine Geoscience since it deals with understanding the different techniques with which the earth's sub-surface can be mapped as well as the theory underpinning these techniques (and therefore the limitations as well as power of the methods). Like in all aspects of the programme, there is a strong practical element to this module and students are given the opportunity to use industry-standard software and hardware as part of the exercises involved. The aim of the module is to enable the student to have a broad overall understanding of geophysical surveying for engineering and environmental applications; but this coupled with the theoretical and practical understanding that enables them to critically analyse the acquired datasets.

In outline, the module comprises of seismic surveying (refraction and reflection), electrical methods (EM and resistivity) and potential field methods (specifically, search-mode magnetics).

  1. Formal lectures (30 hrs). Additional time may be allocated to anyone or group that require workshop-style assistance with assessments or revision.

  2. Field and laboratory experiments (2 x 3 hrs field survey)

The module will convey information via the Blackboard system in the form of lecture notes and exercise handouts as well as for assessment submission (TurnitinUK) where appropriate. However, much information is also ONLY conveyed in classes; students are expected to have to attend.

Course content

In list form, the syllabus can be summarised thus:

Seismic surveying

a. Propagation of seismic waves in the subsurface

b. Field hardware

c. Seismic refraction surveying

d. Seismic reflection surveying

e. Seismic data processing

f. Seismic interpretation

Electrical and electro-magnetic surveying

a. Underlying theory

b. Data acquisition techniques

c. Interpretation techniques

d. Application to terrestrial and marine studies

Magnetic surveying

a. Underlying theory

b. Magnetometers

c. Reduction of data

d. Introductory interpretation techniques for eng. geophys. applications

Assessment Criteria

threshold

A partial understanding of the principles of geophysics (within the scope of the curriculum, learning outcomes and skills outlined here) Basic appreciation and some understanding of the underlying theory and potential limitations/power of geophysical techniques for sub-surface imaging and geological interpretation Basic ability to solve numerical problems associated geophysical investigation Basic ability to acquire, process, interpret and present geophysical data

good

A complete understanding of the principles of geophysics (within the scope of the curriculum, learning outcomes and skills outlined here) Comprehensive appreciation and limited understanding of the underlying theory and potential limitations/power of geophysical techniques for sub-surface imaging and geological interpretation Ability to solve numerical problems associated geophysical investigation Ability to acquire, process, interpret and present geophysical data

excellent

Thorough understanding of the principles of geophysics (within the scope of the curriculum, learning outcomes and skills outlined here) Highly developed appreciation and limited understanding of the underlying theory and potential limitations/power of geophysical techniques for sub-surface imaging and geological interpretation Highly developed ability to solve numerical problems associated geophysical investigation Highly developed ability to acquire, process, interpret and present geophysical data

Learning outcomes

  1. Upon successful completion of this module, the student should be able to show an appreciation of the limitations of the geophysical method in modelling the earth's subsurface and interpreting the results in terms of sub-surface geology.

  2. Upon successful completion of this module, the student should understand the physics which governs the earth's geophysical response, specifically in relation to seismic, electrical, electro-magnetic, and magnetic techniques.

  3. Upon successful completion of this module, the student should have knowledge of the hardware and software used in the field of environmental and engineering geophysics

  4. Upon successful completion of this module, the student should be able to acquire, process, interpret and present (in report form) geophysical data using appropriate theory and software

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM OSX4020 Examination 40
COURSEWORK Resistivity Excercise 20
COURSEWORK Geophysical Survey Field Report 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lectures (30 hrs over a 5 week block)

30
Fieldwork

Seismic / resistivity / EM survey (6 hours) Magnetics survey (3 hours)

9
Private study

This period may include help sessions or tutorials, depending on student need. Otherwise, this is the time allocated to learning and doing.

159
Workshop

Resistivity problem sheet workshop

2

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Resources

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: