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Marine Geophysics



Course format On-site
Date 2020-08-18 - 2020-11-25
Entry level Bachelor

Course content

This course gives a thorough introduction to marine geophysics and the associated geological interpretation of marine geophysical data. The core theory of marine geophysical mapping is highlighted, with a special focus on the acoustic reflection method. Controlled source electromagnetic methods are discussed to a limited extent. Fundamental limits on the spatial resolution, noise sources, the differences between 2D and 3D seismic systems, and practical data acquisition and processing strategies are discussed. Applications to stratigraphy, seafloor imaging, imaging of hydrocarbon reservoirs, imaging of glacial processes, and the detection of gas hydrates and associated shallow gas are covered through lectures by specialized speakers in the different topics.

The course contains a set of compulsory exercises. The exercises include problems related to the theory covered during the course as well as interpretation of seismic data using the software Petrel. The final exercise consists of a report on the interpretation of a provided 3D seismic data set and presentation of a conceptual model illustrating interpreted geological processes.


Bachelor's degree in geology, or a similar degree following a study program of at least three years, or similar education approved in accordance with the Norwegian Universities Act section 3-4. In addition, specialization in geology worth the equivalent of at least 80 ECTS credits is required. Normally, an average mark of C or better is required at the bachelor's degree level or other program for basis of admission. Application code: 9371.

Recommended prerequisites

GEO-1001 Introduction to geology

Learning outcomes


The student has

  • a solid overview of the different geophysical methods implemented for marine research.
  • knowledge of the underlying principles of acoustic reflection seismics.
  • understanding of the limits on the spatial resolution of reflection seismics.
  • understanding of the controlled source electromagnetic method.
  • knowledge on the design of seismic acquisition surveys depending on the target.
  • knowledge about the processing flows followed to produce an interpretable seismic section.
  • knowledge of how seismic signatures are connected to geological features and processes.


The student can

  • interpret seismic reflection data to infer seafloor and sub-seafloor structures.
  • quantify the physical limitations of the standard geophysical processing methods.
  • identify and explain key characteristic features in processed seismic images.
  • connect the interpretations to marine geological processes.
  • design a data acquisition and processing strategy for a given target.
  • work with Petrel (interpretation software used in the framework of other courses in marine geophysics at UiT).

General competences

The student can

  • critically evaluate and judge the quality of data and conclusions presented in primary databases, research articles and scientific reports.
  • determine the best data acquisition and processing strategy for a given target imaging task.
  • work independently as well as in a team.
  • develop models and interpretations based on data in combination with conceptual models from the literature.
  • write technical and scientific reports.


ISCED Categories

Marine Geology