This course is a survey of the principal geophysical techniques used in the engineering and environmental industries. It will give the non-specialist an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of geophysics, and an appreciation for which geophysical techniques would be appropriate for particular applications. The basics of the interpretation of raw and processed data will also be covered. We will look at:

selecting a technique to meet survey objectives

designing a survey by selecting survey parameters

survey execution

interpretation of survey results



The texts are:

1.An Introduction to Applied and Environmental Geophysics by John Reynolds.
2. Exploration Geophysics of the Shallow Subsurface,  1992, H. R. Burger, w/ Macintosh computer software, Prentice Hall, 489 pp

3. Field Geophysics by J. Milsom


Also useful  references are:

Applied Geophysics for Geologists and Engineers, 1981, by D.H. Griffiths and R.F. King. 2nd  Edition , Pergamon Press, 230pp.

Looking into the Earth  by P. Kearey and A. Khan.

An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration by Kearey, Brooks, and Hill

Principles of Applied Geophysics  by D.S. Parasnis

Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, 1997, by Sharma, P. V.,  1997., Cambridge University Press, 475pp

Introduction to Geophysical Prospecting by Dobrin and Savit
Applied Geophysics by W.M. Telford, L.P. Geldard and R.E. Sheriff

Suggested Journals:

Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (SAGEEP)
Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society
Journal of Geophysical Research
Pure and Applied Geophysics
Geotechnical and Environmental Geophysics
Geophysical Prospecting
Journal of Applied Geophysics
Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics



Marking scheme

Labs                   20%

Assignments      20%

Mid term exam  20%

Final exam        40%


Time:  Tuesday 10.00 –12.00 (Lecture) & 14.00 – 17.00 (Practical)
Place:  Postgraduate Room (2nd floor, Geology Building)
Lecturers:  Prof. Dr. Abdul Rahim Samsudin, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Umar Hamzah, Assoc. Prof. Dr.Abdul Ghani Rafek & Mr.Khairul Anuar Mohd Nayan.

WEEK 1) Introduction notes (ARS)

Engineering geophysics : a geophysicist’s view, a geologist’s view and a civil engineer’s view point


WEEK 2) Overview of geophysical techniques and their uses. (ARS)

Case studies.


WEEK 3) The role of engineering geophysics in site investigation (KMN)

Scope of engineering geophysics, What are the important parameters in engineering geophysics? Application of geophysical parameters in engineering designing.Example of an applications. Use and misuse of engineering geophysics. The role of engineering geophysics in site investigation and design of engineering structures.


WEEK 4) GRAVITY (ARS): The description of the Earth’s gravity field. Latitude, free-air, Bouguer and terrain corrections. Densities of rocks and minerals. Survey parameters and survey objectives. Measuring the terrain density. Regional-residual separation. Characteristic anomalies. Depth-to-source estimates. Interpretation.


WEEK 5) ) MAGNETICS (ARS): Description of the Earth’s magnetic field. Magnetic minerals. Survey parameters and survey objectives. Vector vs total field measurements. Characteristic anomalies. Depth-to-source estimates. Interpretation.


WEEK 6) Seismic Refraction ( AGR): P and S waves - properties and speeds. Poisson’s ratio, Young’s modulus, Lam´e parameters. Surface waves. Snell’s Law. Critical angle. Interpretation of simple layered structures


WEEK 7) SASW technique (KMN)


WEEK 8) Mid-sem holiday


WEEK 9) Seismic (down hole & cross hole) (KMN)


WEEK10 & 11) Seismic Tomography (Dr.Rachmat Sule)


WEEK 12& 13) Seismic Reflection (UH) :Geophones and recorders. Acoustic impedance and reflectivity. Normal moveout, converting time to depth. Survey parameters, fold, common mid-point gathers, identifying reflections and multiples, processing steps


WEEK  14 & 15) Electrical methods (UH):

a)                          RESISTIVITY: Sounding vs profiling. 2-D electrical Imaging. The common electrode geometries; Schlumberger, Wenner and dipole-dipole. The definition of apparent resistivity. Equivalence, suppression, ambiguity and resolution. Interpretation. Spontaneous Potential

b)                          INDUCED POLARIZATION: Polarization mechanisms in rock, electrode polarization, membrane polarization, seiving potentials. Time domain vs frequency domain IP. Unpolarizable electrodes. The Cole-Cole description of relaxation. Interpretation.)


Week 16) Final Examination




LAB 1) Gravity data acquisition & corrections.

LAB 2) Gravity data interpretation.

LAB 3). Magnetic data acquisition & corrections

LAB 4) Magnetics data interpretation.

LAB 5) Seismic Refraction Interpretation

LAB 6) SASW data interpretation

LAB 7) Seismic Down hole

LAB 8) Seismic Tomography

LAB 9) Seismic reflection interpretation

LAB 10) Resistivity data interpretation


Field Geophysics:


Field works for geophysical data acquisition will be arranged which may involved week end  and mid-semester holiday