Geosciences for risk and environment management
Study-unit Code
Geosciences for environmental sustainability
Maurizio Ercoli
  • Maurizio Ercoli
  • 73 ore - Maurizio Ercoli
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
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 geophysical survey. General concepts of geophysical data recording, analysis, processing and interpretation.

Seismic methods and electromagnetic (GPR) methods. Outline on other geophysical methods (base theory, measurable parameters, and field of application).

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

- Lillie R. J., 1999: Whole Earth Geophysics. Prentice Hall (Unistudium)

- Kearey, P., Brooks M., Hill, I., 2002: An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration. Blackwell Science.

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

The main objective is to provide to the students the fundamentals on the acquisition and processing of geophysical data allowing a reliable interpretation aimed at a correct reconstruction of geological models of the subsurface.

The main knowledge acquired will be:

- general theoretical and practical knowledge on the main geophysical techniques.
- basic and specific knowledge on the seismic methods (in particular seismic reflection) and on the electromagnetic methods (in particular Ground Penetrating Radar).
- basic knowledge on the calculation and use of seismic attributes.
- basic theoretical knowledge on gravimetric and geomagnetic methods.

The main skills will be:

- ability to plan a geophysical survey, identification of the goal and of the most appropriate method, proper selection of the 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 data.

- knowledge of the main characteristics of tools, equipment and main parameters necessary for a correct acquisition of the 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.
To better understand and practising most of the geophysical techniques described in this course, it is necessary to have successfully passed the exams in Physics (fundamental), Mathematics (fundamental) and Terrestrial Physics (recommended). Knowledge of these concepts is an indispensable prerequisite for the student who wants to profitably follow the course.

In particular:

General concepts of Geophysics: physical properties, geophysical anomaly, principles of data inversion, analysis of geophysical signals

Elements of seismology: acoustic and elastic waves, types of seismic waves, propagation, impedance contrasts.

Active and passive seismic: General principles of refraction, reflection, surface wave seismic.

Gravimetry and magnetism. General theoretical notes, anomalies and their geological interpretation.
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:

- lectures in class on all subjects of the course;

- practical lab exercises at the computer in laboratory 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 verify the student's learning of theoretical concepts and practical aspects relating to the processing of geophysical data, aimed at a correct interpretation of the subsoil.

The exam will take place in the classroom, through an oral test of max one hour, including questions and quick computational exercises.

The exam aims to verify the ability to correctly apply the theoretical and methodological knowledge reported in the course program (acquisition, processing of geophysical data, in particular seismic reflection and ground penetrating radar), to check the ability to understand the problems proposing a reasoned answer autonomously, as well as to apply the acquired skills.

The final score will be calculated on the basis of the correct answers provided with respect to all the questions proposed.

For information on support services for students with disabilities and/or DSA, visit the page http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa
Extended program
Introduction on the theoretical fundamentals of geophysics, overview of the geophysical techniques, definition of sensitivity and resolution and applicability of the methods. Potential of geophysical methods in different exploration sectors and related limitations. Planning of a geophysical survey: definition of the goal, selection of sampling rate and parameters, identification of noise sources, basic tools for data analysis in the field and in the laboratory, principles of signal analysis and data processing (spectral analysis, filtering, convolution and cross-correlation), A/D conversion, basics of geophysical data inversion and forward modeling with generation of synthetic data using specific software. Introduction to processing in different processing domains (time, frequency and wavenumbers).

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 and geomagnetic methods:
General introduction on the physical principles of gravity, measurements, anomalies, main corrections and interpretation methods, fields of application and limitations, case histories.
Introduction on the physical principles of geomagnetism, magnetic properties of rocks and minerals, Earth's magnetic field and variations, hints on equipment and measure techniques, data processing and interpretation principles, comparison with gravimetric method, fields of application and limitations, case histories.
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