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Unit information: Petroleum Geophysics in 2020/21

Unit name Petroleum Geophysics
Unit code EASC20036
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Verdon
Open unit status Not open

EASC10001, EASC10007, EASC10008, MATH11004, PHYS10006, PHYS10005 and PHYS11400



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit will provide an overview of the geophysical methods used in the petroleum industry. Special emphasis will be placed on the seismic reflection method, as this is the primary technique used in the industry. New and emerging techniques, such as gravity, magnetics and microseismic monitoring will also be introduced.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the course students will:

  • Understand what geophysical methods are used in petroleum exploration.
  • Understand the principles of seismic reflection processing.
  • Understand the basics of passive seismic monitoring.
  • Understand how electro-magnetic and gravity methods are used in the petroleum industry.
  • Have hands on experience processing and interpreting seismic reflection data.
  • Understand current challenges and frontier areas of petroleum exploration.

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials and, if subsequently possible, synchronous face-to-face lectures
  • synchronous office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative activities and exercises
  • guided, structured reading
  • practical work in the laboratory

Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

End-of-unit timed open-book examination (100%)

Reading and References


  • R. Sheriff and L. Geldart: ‘Exploration Seismology’, 2nd edition, CUP, 1995.
  • H. Burger, A. Sheehan and C. Jones: ‘Introduction to Applied Geophysics, Norton Press, 2006.
  • O. Yilmaz, 2001. Seismic data analysis: Processing, Inversion and Interpretation of Seismic Data, SEG, Tulsa OK.