Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2630 Fundamentals of Geophysics

10 creditsClass Size: 89

Module manager: Dr Jon Mound

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level Maths or an equivalent Level 1 Maths module (eg SOEE1301)

This module is mutually exclusive with

SOEE1150Fundamentals of Geophysics
SOEE2631Introduction to Geophysics

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Learn how physics is used to study Earth structure and Earth processes. Techniques of seismology, gravity, geodesy, magnetics, and electromagnetism are used to understand and assess geological hazards, locate natural resources, and understand the structure and dynamics of the planet from an atomic to a global scale.


To learn about geophysical analysis and develop quantitative problem-solving skills. To understand how the principles of physics are used to study physical properties and processes of the Earth. The goal is to have a basic overview of geophysics for interest and as the basis for further work, to be accustomed to approaching and solving problems, and to be able to make basic analyses of data from commonly used geophysical surveys.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Recall the definition of terms associated with geophysical theory and observations;
2. Use fundamental geophysical principles to perform simple analysis and interpretation of illustrative data;
3. Describe the physical principles underlying a range of geophysical techniques;
4. Solve quantitative problems relating to geophysical investigation of the Earth;
5. Explain how geophysical methods can be used to investigate geological properties and processes;


- Introduction to geophysics
- Seismology: origin and form of seismic waves; seismic refraction/reflection; earth structure; earthquakes
- Gravity: principles, practice and interpretation; isostasy
- Magnetics: magnetisation; geomagnetism and palaeomagnetism; magnetic surveys
- Geoelectric methods: principles of electrical and electromagnetic theory; electrical properties of Earth materials; SP, resistivity, EM, and GPR survey techniques
- Geodesy: stress and strain; measurement and applications
- Integrated case study

This module follows the same syllabus as for SOEE2631 Introduction to Geophysics but with a different problem set with more emphasis on quantitative modelling of geophysical processes. The module is more suited to students with A Level Maths or SOEE1301 or equivalent and will be of particular interest for students who want a more quantitative development of geophysical concepts. Students who do not have the required level of Maths, or who prefer to focus on a conceptual understanding, should enrol for SOEE2631 Introduction to Geophysics.

The module will be of particular benefit to students who are intending to take SOEE3740 Seismic Interpretation in Level 3.

Students are encouraged to speak with the Module Leader or to a member of the module teaching team if they are uncertain about their suitability for the module.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours71.00
Total Contact hours29.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- 3 hours per week follow-up and completion of problem sets: 30 hours
- 2 hours per week follow-up reading: 20 hours
- Revision: 21 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Practice MCQs and tutorial problems are integrated with instruction throughout the semester.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQSummative MCQ30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

The re-sit will consist of a single 48-hour open book exam worth 100% of the marks.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam48 hr 00 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

The re-sit will consist of a single 48-hour open book exam worth 100% of the marks.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:46:33


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019