Module OSX-3017:
Applied Geophysics

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 Geological Oceanography 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). As 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 (magnetics).

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 engineering geophysical applications

Assessment Criteria

excellent

Thorough understanding of the principles of geophysics (within the scope of the curriculum, learning outcomes and skills outlined in sections 14 to 17 of this form) 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

threshold

A partial understanding of the principles of geophysics (within the scope of the curriculum, learning outcomes and skills outlined in sections 14 to 17 of this form) 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 in sections 14 to 17 of this form) 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

Learning outcomes

  1. Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to: demonstrate an understanding of the physics which governs the earth’s geophysical response – specifically in relation to seismic, electrical, electro-magnetic and magnetic and techniques.

  2. Demonstrate a knowledge of the hardware and software used in the field of environmental and engineering geophysics

  3. Acquire, process and interpret geophysical data using appropriate theory and software

  4. Show an appreciation of the limitations of the geophysical method.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Resistivity excercise 20
COURSEWORK Seismic interpretation 30
EXAM Exam 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Fieldwork

Magnetics and EM field survey

3
Lecture

Formal lectures (30 x 1 hrs)

30
Workshop

Resistivity problem sheet workshop

3
Practical classes and workshops

Computer-based exercise (1 x 8 hrs, 1 x 4 hrs seismic interpretation computer exercise)

12
Private study

Assessment work-up, self-study work during the lecture series and examination revision

152

Transferable skills

  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy

Courses including this module