2023-2024 / GEOL0021-7

Geophysical prospecting


26h Th, 20h Pr, 5d FW, 20h Proj.

Number of credits

 Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering (joint-degree programme with the "Université polytechnique de Madrid")5 crédits 
 Master in geology (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in oceanography (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Frédéric Nguyen

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Applied Geophysics aims to investigate the underground, whether within the Earth or under an engineering site using principles of physics. The physics of methods range from seismic waves propagation to the study of the Earth's gravitational field.

Geophysical exploration rely a vast range of subjects including physics, geology, mathematics, modern means of measurements and computations. Besides mastering these technical capabilities, it is essential for an engineer to learn to diagnose problems given a geological context in order to design appropriate solutions and to add to the knowledge a practice field intuition. That is why field work will be done by students, and examples in connection with the various fields of application (environment, hydrogeology, oil exploration and mining, public works, geotechnical exploration in marine, ...) will be analyzed during the course.

The course covers the main modern geophysical methods (seismic, electrical, electromagnetic, gravity, magnetic) and introduce several specific methods (surface waves, nuclear magnetic resonance). For each method, the course discusses the advantages and limitations, petrophysics, physical basis, field implementation, data processing and interpretation.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

* Understand how and why geophysics allow a non-destructive recognition the underground.
* Understand the underlying basics of mathematics and physics behind geophysical methods and their interpretation.
* Be able to analyze the possibilities and limitations of various methods.
* Be able to design a survey on the basis of the geoscientific context (geological, hydrogeological, mining, tectonics, etc. ...).
* Know how to interpret geophysical results and how to integrate them among other data.

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, I.2, II.1, III.1, III.2, IV.1, IV.2, VI.2, VII.2, VII.3 of the BSc in engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

A basic training in physics, mathematics and earth sciences is desired.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The lab work consists of three parts: The analysis of real world examples in which the geophysical results are acquired and processed; The use of software for the processing and modeling of geophysical data to obtain the geophysical results; Field work devoted to the implementation of certain methods, processing and interpretation of data collected.
A Slack channel is availabe for the course #GEOL0021-7 for the students registred to the course to interact (Q&A, field logistics...).
A seminar from the industry will take place at the end of the semester.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Recommended or required readings

Slides available on WEBCT.

Any session :

- In-person

oral exam

- Remote

oral exam AND written work

- If evaluation in "hybrid"

preferred remote

Additional information:

The final score is obtained by integrating the assessments of :
the writing of a method sheet
the project report on the field measurements
an oral exam
If the exam has to take place remotely: https://call.lifesizecloud.com/1195410

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


F. Nguyen (f.nguyen@ulg.ac.be)
Tel: 04366 3797

Association of one or more MOOCs