Applied Geophysics

Geophysical methods are a powerful way of imaging the Earth’s subsurface, including the structure within it and the processes it undergoes.

We are a community of scientists developing geophysical theory and practice for the quantitative investigation of target sub-surfaces. These targets are truly diverse, ranging from understanding the detail of lab-scale samples through to crustal-scale structures that influence basin evolution.

In addition, we analyse archaeological remains in the near-surface, structures within glaciers, natural and induced fracture systems within a rock mass, geothermal systems, and much else. We hold one of the largest stocks of geophysical field equipment in the UK and we have expertise in the analysis of archive data and computational modelling.

The beneficiaries of our research include governmental policy makers, external research partners and the commercial sector.

Our community comprises a core of academic staff and post-doctoral researchers with a growing cohort of PhD and MSc students, who benefit from experience with the practical deployment of modern geophysical science.

Our research areas

  • Development and application of seismic methods, such as attenuation (Q) analysis, anisotropy, modelling, and full-waveform inversion, to understand hydrocarbon, mining, geological storage, and other systems.
  • Cryosphere geophysics, developing integrated seismic and electromagnetic methods to investigate polar ice masses and their associated environments.
  • Potential field methods such as gravity and magnetic surveys to explore and characterise large-scale crustal structure and associated mineral and hydrocarbon resources.
  • Using geophysical observations to constrain physical processes active within the subsurface, whether related to near-surface environmental processes or at greater depth within the energy and pure science spheres.

Collaborations and partnerships

The Applied Geophysics Group maintains collaborations with numerous academic and commercial partners.

  • Anglo American
  • Australian Centre for Geomechanics
  • British Antarctic Survey
  • British Geological Survey
  • CSIRO
  • Getech
  • ION-GXT
  • Itasca Consulting Group
  • RWM, NDA
  • Schlumberger
  • Scott Polar Research Institute
  • SRK Consulting
  • UK Oil and Gas Authority
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Stavanger
  • WildCRU

Further information

View all members of our research group, our recent projects and publications.

PhD projects

We have opportunities for prospective PhD students. Find out more.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail please contact the Research Group Leads: Dr Adam Booth or Dr Mark Hildyard.