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The University of Southampton

SOES3021 Geophysical Field Methods

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To give further practical experience in the use of geophysical instruments for exploration in the field. • To plan, carry out, and interpret geophysical surveys over different geological targets and sub-surface structure.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand thoroughly applications of appropriate methodologies for land-based geophysical survey activity;
  • Report writing and oral presentation.
  • Use of Unix computers, and simple programming using shell scripts.
  • Operate a range of geophysical instrumentation/equipment proficiently and safely plan survey layouts, data acquisition, processing and interpretations;
  • Produce interpretations of data using appropriate techniques, including forward and inverse modelling;
  • Understand the limitations of suggested interpretations and know to seek to refine these.
  • Present an oral report on interim results during the field course with a prepared abstract for a peer group;
  • Produce a final report synthesising aspects of survey procedures and geophysical/geological interpretation relevant to the selected field area;
  • Survey design and data acquisition.
  • Familiarity with equipment.
  • Using spreadsheets, programs/graphics packages.


The module consists of a field course of approximately eight days' duration held during the summer vacation at the end of the second year and will give practical experience in the use of geophysical instruments for exploration in the field.

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Fieldcourse: 7 days in the field will provide you with experience in acquisition and interpretation of geophysical data to solve geological problems. You will be reminded how to use some equipment, and learn from scratch how to use other items. You will also learn how to plan and carry out a survey. Fieldcourse study day: You will also be expected to play a significant role in determining what methods are used where within the study areas. Fieldcourse Presentation: An oral presentation to show your peers what your main results were. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Independent Study79
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Abstract and Presentation 25%
Field notebook 15%
Written report 60%
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