Geology for energy resources
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Maurizio Ercoli
  • Maurizio Ercoli
  • 63 ore - Maurizio Ercoli
Course Regulation
Coorte 2022
Learning activities
Discipline geofisiche
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Geophysical methods and their applicability. Planning of a geophysics campaign. General concepts of recording, processing and interpretation of geophysical data.

Seismic methods.
Gravimetric, Geomagnetic and Electromagnetic methods.

Applications and case histories.
Reference texts
- Slides provided by the professor.

- Telford, W. M., Geldart, L. P., Sheriff, R. E. & Keys, D. A., 1976. Applied Geophysics, Cambridge University Press, London, Cambridge.

- Anstey N.A., 1982. Simple Seismic. IHRDC, Boston.

- Sheriff, R.E., 1991. Encyclopedic Dictionary of Exploration Geophysics. Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

- Yilmaz, O., 2001. Seismic Data Analysis: Processing, Inversion, and Interpretation of Seismic Data (two volumes). Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

- Young R. A., 2004. A Lab Manual of Seismic Reflection Processing. EAGE Publications.

- Biondo L. Biondi, 2006. 3D Seismic Imaging. Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

- Chopra, S. and Marfurt, K. J., 2007. Seismic Attributes for Prospect Identification and Reservoir Characterization. Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

- Lowrie W., 2007 (Second Edition). Fundamental of Geophysics. Cambridge University Press, London, Cambridge.

- Jol., H., M., 2009. Ground Penetrating Radar Theory and Applications. Elsevier.
Educational objectives
The course represents a deepening of the topics covered in the basic geophysics courses and examines theoretical and technical / practical aspects useful for the management, analysis and display of geophysical data.

The main objective is to provide students bases on the acquisition and processing of geophysical data that allow a 'conscious interpretation aimed at a correct reconstruction of geological models of the subsurface.

Main knowledge acquired will be:

- basic theoretical and practical knowledge of geophysical techniques included in the course program.

- base theoretical knowledge on geomagnetic and gravimetric methods.

- specific knowledge of seismic methods (in particular seismic reflection), electromagnetic (in particular Ground Penetrating Radar).

- basic knowledge on the computation and use of seismic attributes.

The main competence will be:

- ability to plan a geophysical survey, identification of the objective and of the most appropriate method, selection of proper station interval, detection of noise sources, data analysis and processing, critical evaluation of the used methods and procedures, integration of different geophysical methods and data, also geological ones.

- knowledge of the main characteristics of tools, equipment and main parameters necessary for a correct acquisition of geophysical data.

- knowledge of the general characteristics of software, algorithms and parameters necessary for a proper processing.

- knowledge of the basic tools for an accurate interpretation of geophysical data.
In order to be able to understand and apply the majority of the techniques described within the course, you must have successfully passed the Physics (mandatory), Mathematics (mandatory) and Terrestrial Physics (important) exams. Knowledge of these concepts represents a mandatory prerequisite for students planning to follow this course with profit.

In detail, with regard to the module of Terrestrial Physics (3 years course Bachelor degree in Geology):

General concepts of Geophysics: anomaly and interpretation of geophysical data.

Elements of seismology: types of seismic waves, wave propagation, acoustic impedance.

Active seismic: General principles of seismic refraction and reflection. Travel-time curves, thickness and velocity of the seismic layers.

Gravimetry and Magnetism. General principles, meaning of the anomalies and their interpretation.
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:

- lectures in class and via internet on all subjects of the course;

- practical lab exercises at the computer in laboratory and via internet remote connection for the analysis and treatment of geophysical data (reflection seismic and ground penetrating radar); data, software and presentations will be provided to the students for additional individual exercises.

- field survey training and practice for the acquisition of geophysical data.

- seminars and workgroups
Other information
Department of Physics and Geology, Piazza Università 1, 06100 Perugia.

Learning verification modality
The exam will be held oral via institutional web platform (e.g. Micr. Teams) or in presence in class.

The exam will verify the knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and practical aspects related to the treatment of geophysical data, finalized to a correct interpretation of the subsurface.

The exam will be no more than one hour long, with questions possibly including brief computational exercises.

The exam aims to ascertain knowledge level and the understanding capability acquired by the student on theoretical and methodological contents as indicated on the program (acquisition, processing of geophysical data, in particular seismic reflection and ground penetrating radar), the understanding of the issues proposed and the ability to evaluate and propose a a reasoned answer.

The final score will be calculated on the basis of the correct answers on the totality of the given questions. The exam will verify the ability of knowledge and understanding, the ability to apply the acquired skills and the ability to learn, develop and figure out correct solutions with an own independent judgment.
Extended program
Introduction on the theoretical fundamentals of geophysics, overview of the geophysical techniques, definition of sensitivity and resolution and applicability of the methods. Planning of a geophysical survey: identification of the target, selection of sampling range and parameters, identification of noise sources, basic tools for data analysis in the field and in the laboratory, principles of signal analysis, A/D conversion, hints on data inversion and modelling, with creation of synthetic data with specific software.

Applied Seismology and Seismic methods:
Introduction on the physical principles, elastic and seismic waves, types of waves and related methods, propagation, refraction, reflection, diffraction, velocity, attenuation, seismic sources, detection and recording of seismic waves, convolutional model, reflection and refraction seismic methods, analysis of surface waves (active and passive); acquisition, processing and analysis of waveforms, data format (SEG-Y), types and methods of velocity calculation for the various techniques, depth conversion and principles of migration, principles of seismic interpretation, seismic attributes, potentialities and limits of the methods.

Electromagnetic Methods:
Introduction on the physical principles of the electromagnetism, electromagnetic waves and electromagnetic behavior of materials, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), instrumentation and antenna configuration, single and multiple coverage data, single antenna and array of antennas, acquisition, data processing and interpretation techniques of 2D and 3D data, comparison with reflection seismic, fields of application and limitations, case studies and examples. Practical data processing activities with commercial and open-source software.
Gravimetric method:
Introduction on the physical principles of gravity, gravity measurements, ellipsoid and geoid, gravimetric anomalies and main corrections, interpretative methods, regional and local fields, anomalies due to bodies of different geometries, determination of depth and mass, hints to direct and inverse modelling, fields of application and limitations, study examples.

Geomagnetic method:
Introduction on the physical principles of geomagnetism, magnetic properties of rocks and minerals, Earth's magnetic field and variations, measurement tools and techniques, data processing and interpretation principles, modelling of anomalies due to bodies of different geometries and magnetic properties, determination of body depth, comparison with gravimetric method, fields of application and limitations, study examples.
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