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Quantitative Interpretation of Geophysical Data 7.5 credits

Kvantitativ tolkning av geofysiska data
Second cycle, O7008K
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2021 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
Second cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Subject group (SCB)
Earth Science and Physical Geography
Main field of study

Entry requirements

90 credits in geoscience. 15 credits in Physics and O0001K or corresponding course

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 20-285 credits

Course Aim
The aim of the course is to introduce approaches to analysis of geophysical data based on inverse theory and explore some of the questions that arise in solving linear and non-linear inverse problems.

After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:
• explain and apply fundamental principles of geophysical data inversion
• formulate solutions of geophysical problems using Tikhonov regularization technique
• process and evaluate quality of geophysical data
• obtains experience from inversion of real and synthetic data
• explain strength and weakness of geophysical methods
• explain and apply inversion techniques for potential field data
• explain and apply inversion techniques for electromagnetic data

Inversion of geophysical data: Characterization of data and data errors. What are the characteristics of a good model? Model parameterization and Tikhonov regularization. Forward responses and Sensitivities. Solving linear and non-linear inverse problems. Relation between data errors and errors on model parameters. Trade-off between resolution and parameter errors. Á priori information. Bayesian inversion. Examples with inversion of various types of geophysical data. Applications in mineral explorations and environmental investigations.

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.
The teaching will be as lectures and laboratory training. Participation in the laboratory training is compulsory. The lectures will be focused on basic theory and applications on geophysical data. The laboratory part will be focused on determination of physical properties of geological material and interpretation of geophysical data. Geophysical software packages are used to illustrate the interpretation and processing methods.

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.
A written assignment exercise assesses the ability to formulate and solve simple inverse problems rising in petrophysical measurements by applying inverse theory methods (U/G). A written exam assesses the ability for problem-solving and describing fundamental principles of geophysical data inversion. The exam also evaluates the ability to formulate the inverse problem and explain solutions for geophysical methods presented during the course. 
(G U 3 4 5)

O7008K is equivalent to KGG004 and cannot be combined.

Maxim Smirnov

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2021 Sp 1 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
• Aster R.C, Borchers, B & Thurber, C.H: Parameter Estimation and Inverse Problems. Elsevier Inc.
Kearey, P., Brooks, M. & Hill, I. (2002). An introduction to geophysical exploration [electronic resource]. (3rd ed.) Malden, MA: Blackwell Science.
• William Menke: Geophysical Data Analysis: Discrete Inverse Theory MATLAB edition. Elsevier Inc., 2012

Course offered by
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0006Written examG U 3 4 57.00MandatoryA21
0007ExerciseU G#0.50MandatoryA21

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
Course plan approved by the Department of Chemical Engineering and Geosciences 2007-02-28.

Last revised
by Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies Eva Gunneriusson, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering 17 Feb 2021