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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 practical element to this module and students are given the opportunity to use industry-standard software 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) and electrical methods (EM and resistivity). Depending on circumstances this year, it may be possible to include an optional fieldtrip involving the use of magnetic methods of field survey.

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

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

Seismic interpretation of high resolution reflection data using IHS Kingdom Software.

30
EXAM Online Exam 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Fieldwork

OPTIONAL Magnetics field survey

3
Lecture

Formal lectures (equivalent of a traditional 30 x 1 hrs). These will likely be reduced in duration and pre-recorded. Some will be synchronous online delivery

30
Workshop

Resistivity problem sheet workshop - This will either be oncampus or synchronous online delivery

3
Practical classes and workshops

Computer-based exercise (1 x 8 hrs, 1 x 4 hrs seismic interpretation computer exercise). This will be either oncampus or synchronous live (or both)

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
  • 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
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

Ability to use industry standard seismic reflection software (IHS Kingdom Suite) for hoizon picking, gridding and contouring - as well as simple depth conversion. Use of IPI2Win to conduct inversion of electrical resistivity data.

Courses including this module