Solid Earth Geophysics (part 2)

Course content

The course focuses on the analyses of geophysical data sets aimed at providing information about the Earth’s structure and the processes that determine its evolution. Teaching starts with briefly refreshing some of the fundamental theories, and continues with a research project where student apply these theories to make an integrated geophysical interpretation of the tectonic structure in regions of significant geological interest.


MSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience

Learning outcome



  • Structure and evolution of Earth’s tectonosphere in light of the plate tectonic theory.
  • Relations between structure of the Earth and the physical processes responsible for it.
  • Details and uncertainties of geophysical data sets.


  • Understand the use of geophysical data sets and methods for studying the Earth’s structure.
  • Have an overview of the suitability of geophysical methods.
  • Be able to select the appropriate parameters for solving specific tasks.
  • Understand the importance and impact of data uncertainty in geophysical interpretations.
  • Be able to interpret regional and local geological processes through interpretation of geophysical data.
  • Communicate results through written and oral reports.



  • Understand the different ways in which balance of vertical loads is achieved within the tectonophere.
  • Be able to link the first-order present-day structure of the tectonophere to past plate tectonics evolution.

Teaching is held as lectures/tutorials with discussion among the class. Learning is facilitated by an individual research project where geophysical concepts are applied on real data sets. Such a project is carried out in Matlab, but prior knowledge of this software is not required.

Please see the Absalon course page.

BSc in Geology-Geoscience or equivalent is recommended. In order to participate, students are expected to be particularly familiar with the geophysical notions covered in Introduction to Solid Earth Geophysics (BSc curriculum) and Solid Earth Geophysics part 1 (MSc curriculum).

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Continuous feedback is provided to students during the course. This is based primarely on the research project progression, and is done in the form of a collective feedback to the group of students during class time, as well as individual feedback during meetings for questions.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Ongoing preparation throughout the course
Oral examination, 20 minutter
A written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
Without aids

The oral examination is without aids.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see description of learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206