Techniques and interpretation of seismological, gravity and magnetic studies; geophysical determination of the structure of the crust, mantle and core; thermal budget of the earth and the driving forces for plate tectonics.
Through acquisition, reduction and interpretation of data from their own local
geophysical surveys, students will become familiar with the use of geophysical methods
in understanding the near surface. Students will gain field experience with seismic,
gravity, magnetic and electrical geophysical techniques. We will utilise Web- and
computer-based tutorial sessions for reduction and interpretation of the local surveys.
Using the knowledge gained from local practical studies we then examine larger New
Zealand and international geophysical data sets to investigate the structure of the
Earth generally and specifically the geophysical signatures of petroleum and mineral
The second aim of the course is to examine more deep-seated processes that govern the dynamic behaviour of the Earth. We shall investigate the physics of forces that drive core and mantle flow, earthquakes, mountain building and fluid flow. Simple modelling techniques are introduced so that students can perform simulations of the Earth's thermal and mechanical behaviour. Students who complete this course should have a working knowledge of the practical application of geophysical methods at scales appropriate for exploration of mineral resources, evaluation of petroleum basins and also to the larger scales of determination of Earth's structure.
|Paper title||Geophysics of the Earth|
|Teaching period||Second Semester|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$1,080.30|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$4,858.95|
- (GEOL 112 or GEOX 112 or 18 PHSI points) and (EAOS 111 or EAOX 111)
- GEOL 361
- Schedule C
Background requirements: A basic knowledge of high-school level mathematics and physics will be helpful. GEOL261 is for students in their second year of a geology or equivalent degree. GEOL361 is for students in their third year of a geology or equivalent degree.
- More information link
- View more information about GEOL261
- Teaching staff
- Coordinator: Assoc
Prof Andrew Gorman
Dr Christian Ohneiser
- Paper Structure
Lecture topics are:
- Physics of the Earth (1 week)
- Gravity (2 weeks)
- Magnetism (2 weeks)
- Electromagnetic Methods (2 weeks)
- Geophysical Field Methods (1 week + 2-day weekend fieldschool)
- Seismic methods (4 weeks)
- Geophysical Inversion
Assessment is typically split between internal (ongoing during the semester) and external (final exam).
Assessments for GEOL361 are set and graded differently to GEOL261 to reflect greater background knowledge and higher expectations of students taking the paper at 300-level.
- Teaching Arrangements
- Two lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.
Fieldwork: A short weekend fieldschool will be undertaken to gain experience in collecting a range of geophysical data sets. These data will then be analysed during subsequent laboratory sessions.
- Mussett, A.E. and Khan, M.A. 2000. Looking into the Earth. Cambridge University Press.
- Course outline
https://www.otago.ac.nz/geology/study/otago710548.pdf (latest syllabus indicative of content next time the paper is taught)
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical
thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy,
Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- A general awareness of the range of geophysical methods available for understanding the Earth and an understanding of the types of geological targets that can be examined with each technique.
- Knowledge of geophysical concepts as applied to the investigation of geological bodies in the subsurface
- Applied geophysical skills in the acquisition of seismic, gravity, magnetic and electrical data sets, along with basic surveying skills for locating such data
- Critical skills needed for evaluating and assessing geophysical data sets