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GL5059: NEAR SURFACE & ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

This module focuses on the application of geophysical techniques for solving near surface environmental problems. It covers basic theory and practical aspects of modern data collection for near surface magnetic, gravity, resistivity, electro-magnetic (EM), ground penetrating radar (GPR) and seismic refraction, along with case study examples of application to the assessment and monitoring of a range of scientific and technical environmental problems including water resources, geotechnics, contaminated lands, civil engineering, mining, geothermal resources, archaeology. The module will be taught so that the students will be equipped to plan and undertake their own geophysical experiments focusing on a variety of near surface geophysical targets. The use of a variety of geophysical equipment in the field will form a significant component of this module.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Jean-christophe Comte

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme
  • MSc Geophysics

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

1. General introduction to near surface geophysical data acquisition, including survey design, fieldwork safety, quality control, processing and reporting.
2. Physical basis, field implementation (1D, 2D, 3D, time-lapse), processing and interpretation of electrical and electro-magnetic methods (including resistivity, induced polarisation, self-potential, frequency and time domain EM induction, magnetotellurics, magnetic resonance), ground penetrating radar (GPR), passive magnetics, gravity and seismic refraction.
3. Typical example of modern applications of near surface geophysical methods to assess and monitor ranges of environmental processes including; hydrology and water resources; subsurface remediation; mining exploration and post-mine management; geotechnics and civil engineering; natural hazards; geothermal exploration; glaciology.
4. Extended field class; acquisition, processing and interpretation of data on a fieldwork campaign.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 8 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Workbook recording practical work throughout the whole course

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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Exam - Multiple Choice Questions

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 40
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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Assigned Exercise

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralUnderstandProvide an overview of the theory, principles, and practice of near surface geophysical methods including seismic, gravity, magnetic, electrical and electromagnetic methods
ConceptualUnderstandshow an understanding of the surveying techniques and procedures used to acquire near surface geophysical data on land and at sea
FactualAnalyseprovide an overview of the capabilities and imitations of modern near surface geophysical techniques for solving broad environmental problems

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