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Geophysics responds to the physical properties of the subsurface media like rocks, structural features, sediments, water voids…etc. It is the applying of principles of physics to the study of the earth. Physical measurements on surface are influenced by internal distribution of physical properties. The study may be of global scale to local objectives.


Geophysics and Geology
• Geophysics is considered as the third dimension of geology…… How? • Geophysics studies the hidden parts of the earth by collecting physical data on the surface. These data are the response of subsurface materials to physical signals. However collecting data may be also from air or on seas. • In a broader sense, geophysics provides the tools for studying the structure and composition of the earth’s interior indirectly. This is because boreholes have limited depths of penetration.


Engineering site investigation

Waste site contamination

Applied Geophysics Mineral prospecting

Making use of geophysics to investigate the subsurface and evaluating them economically. Usually it is concerned to the exploration of the earth crust and near surface to achieve a practical and economic aim.

Hydrocarbon exploration

Archaeological investigations

Buried cavities, pipes ..etc

Groundwater investigations

Environmental Geophysics Pure Geophysics Is the applied geophysics for the investigation of near-surface (meters, 10’s or few 100’s of meters) physico-chemical phenomena. -Buried waste deposits represent one of the important and actual environmental problems.

Deals with the regional study of the earth’s major features and its relation to the universe. Also called General Geophysics

Depending upon source of energy


each depends upon a certain physical property.Construction Magnetic Magnetic susceptibility and remanence Seismic Seismic velocity (and density) Fossil fuels Bulk mineral deposits Construction Fossil fuels Metalliferous mineral deposits Groundwater. Environmental Construction 6 Electromagnetic (SeaBed Logging) Electrical -Resistivity Radar Electric conductivity/resistivity and inductance Earth resistance Travel times of reflected radar pulses Electrical conductivity Dielectric constant . some of them are: Method Gravity Measured parameter Spatial variations in the strength of the gravitational field of the Earth Spatial variations in the strength of the geomagnetic field Travel times of reflected/refracted seismic waves Response to electromagnetic radiation “Operative” physical property Density Application Fossil fuels Bulk mineral deposits Construction Fossil fuels Metalliferous mineral deposits .There are many geophysical methods. environment Construction….

This contrast leads to Anomaly Magnetic gravity anomaly Ordinate is gravity and magnetic intensity anomaly No anomaly distance distance distance High density contrast Low magnetic intensity contrast Low density contrast high magnetic intensity contrast no contrast 7 .All geophysical methods depend on physical property contrast between the target and the surrounding materials.

Position Fixing Line orientation Station interval Data Acquisition Data storage Processing Interpretation 8 .Geophysical Decision-Making Process Survey Objectives Budget Survey Design Specification Logistics Geophysical Specifications Which Method? Electric. Magnetic. Seismic…. Gravity.

hydrogeology. Occasionally the whole gravitational field is measured or derivatives of the gravitational field. karsts. 9 . geodesy. but usually the difference between the gravity field at two points is measured*. archaeology and volcanic monitoring. Site investigations. regional geological studies. hydrocarbon exploration. The objective in exploration work is to associate variations with differences in the distribution of densities and hence rock types.Gravity Method Measurements of the gravitational field at a series of different locations over an area of interest. Secondary. Applications Primary. explorations for: mineral deposit. isostasy.

we usually see the law of gravitation written as shown below where F is the force of attraction. Thus. The constant of proportionality is usually specified as G. G is the gravitational constant. the gravitational constant. is proportional to one over the square of the distance between them.Newton's law of gravitation states that the mutual attractive force between two point masses**. and r is the distance between the two masses. m1 and m2. m1 and m2. 10 .

When making measurements of the earth's gravity. we measure the gravitational acceleration. Newton also defined the relationship between a force and an acceleration. Rather. but its speed increases as it falls. 11 . g. The constant of proportionality is the mass of the object. In addition to defining the law of mutual attraction between masses. Newton's second law states that force is proportional to acceleration. The gravitational acceleration is the time rate of change of a body's speed under the influence of the gravitational force. F. we usually don't measure the gravitational force. That is. if you drop a rock off a cliff. it not only falls.

109 mega.97 x 1027 gm) micro. so a feather will fall at the same rate as a steel ball. right? Calculate the mass of the Earth Result is (5. regardless of the mass of the object.1012 giga.F = m2g Learn these tera.10-6 nano10-9 12 .106 kilocentimilli103 10-2 10-3 This formula says that ANY object near the surface of the planet will accelerate towards the center of the planet at the rate g.

g Look that there is a body of higher Density than surrounding. giving a positive anomaly 13 .

m/kg Modern gravimeters have a sensitivity of 0.01µm/s2 M/s2 = N.Units of gravity (g) Milligal (mGal) = 10-3cm/s2 Microgal (µGal) = 10-8 m/s2 = 0. 14 .01 mGal.

they are density and distance so gravity changes on a horizontal plane in a small district should be due to changes in density only. g is proportional to two variables only.Note that The acceleration is simply called gravity (g) and it is measured during the gravity survey. gravity value will not change any where on its surface 15 . If the earth was perfectly sphere and having a homogeneous density.

5.) Note: to get accuracy of 0. B. grid.Design of observation stations (i. no. inter-distances. coordinates of each measurement point and elevation as precise as possible. 16 .1mGal. of stations. density…). 2-Detailed plan should be constructed.e. profiles.Logistics such as demonstration affairs and politics 3-Collecting data (gravity. need to know elevation to within one centimeter and latitude to within ~10m.e. what are you looking for? Size. depth.Duration and cost C.Stages of a gravity survey 1-The main target should be well known (i. the network must include at least one station where absolute g is known.If it is desired to tie the survey to national maps. A. 4-Data analyses and interpretations.

1997. L is the length of the pendulum and g is the gravitational acceleration.Types of gravity measurements (Reynolds. 17 . Where T is the period of oscillation. page 42-43) Absolute Measurement 1-Using Pendulum.

By tradition. 18 . this is the method we have commonly ascribed to Galileo Galilei.2-Free falling measurements By dropping an object and measuring its time rate of change of speed (acceleration) as it falls.

The number 71 is due to the year 1971 at when the international formula was established (subject will be given later).Relative Measurement Because it is difficult to design precise portable absolute measuring instruments gravity is measured relatively (relative to a reference station called Base Station). A net of International Base Stations are present in all countries. They are called International Gravity Standarization Network. 19 . these stations are or are not tied to primary base stations (primary base stations have absolute gravity values. IGSN71.

20 .

This CC should be calculated precisely before field activities. Gravimeters read gravity by their own units called Scale Division (SD). There are two methods to calculate CC: 21 .Calibration of Gravimeters (See Dobrin. Each gravimeter has its manufacturing constant but it could be changed with time. This unit should be converted to gravity units such as milliGals by multiplying them by a factor called Calibration Constant (CC). page 390-391) A gravimeter is simply an extreme balance measuring gravity.

C.Using either two previously known absolute values at two base stations or using a high tower and the Free Air Gradient value (0. = ∆g/∆s mGal/SD g (SD) Station A ∆s ∆s Station B Time 22 .C.3086mGal/m).

These are changes in the observed acceleration that are time dependent.Factors that Affect Gravity 1.Changes in the observed acceleration caused by changes in the response of the gravimeter over time.Temporal Variations . Tidal Affects . 23 . these factors cause variations in acceleration that would be observed even if we didn't move our gravimeter.Changes in the observed acceleration caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon. Instrument Drift . In other words.

2. but they are not related to geology. 24 . Latitude Variations . Topographic Effects .Spatial Variations .Changes in the observed acceleration related to topographic variations.These are changes in the observed acceleration that are space dependent (from place to place).Changes in the observed acceleration caused by differences in the elevations of the observation points and density of materials inbetween these elevations. Elevation Variations . just like the geologic affects.Changes in the observed acceleration caused by the ellipsoidal shape and the rotation of the earth.

-Precise time. 25 . This curve is the plot of the repeated gravity data of base station against time. gravimeters tend to show some drift in the response over time because of the creeping of the delicate springs that make up the heart of the gravimeters. page 416-421) Instrumental drift correction: Due to variations in temperature and motion.Corrections are activities by which all above mentioned effects other than those related with subsurface variations in density are removed. page 52-76 or Dobrin. -At the end of work day the drift curve should be constructed. -Return back to the base station every 1-2hours. date and coordinates should be taken for each measurement. (see Reynolds.

Drift Curve Gravity This value is subtracted from the gravity value of the equivalent station * * * Base Line Time A certain station at this time 26 .

Gravity decreases with height because the gravitational accelaration is proportional to 1/ r2. Therefore the free air effect is added to the gravity value of a certain station if it is above datum and subtracted if below No accounts are taken for rock density 27 .Free Air Correction: Accounts for the height difference between the gravity station and a certain datum level.

3086 mGal x Height difference (∆h) ∆h is the elevation difference between the station which is to be corrected and the datum level 28 .C. = 0.A.g0 = (1-2h/R) g0 Height R+h Radius R = Free Air Gradient + And Earth g0 = G M/R2 gh = G M/ (R + h)2 By a certain derivation gh.

094 mGal/ft At station A the effect is added while at B it is subtracted…..Why? topography A * ∆h Datum ∆h * B 29 .∆g = (2g0/R) h = constant x h = 0.3086 mGal/m = 0.

it is called Bouguer Slab. 30 . by approximating them into an infinite horizontal slab. This slab has a thickness equal to the elevation difference between the station and datum level with a homogeneous density.Bouguer Correction: Accounts for the effect of the attraction of rock materials between the station and datum levels.

Density used here is the average density of surface rocks while h is thickness. In the case of station B the effect is subtracted.h is the Bouguer slab thickness having a density ρ Ground surface B A C h Rock materials Datum Level h At station B the gravity is increased relative to datum because of the slab. The gravity effect is equal to 2πρGh. in station C the effect is added while in station A there is no Bouguer effect ……Why? 31 . this is called the Bouguer Correction.

09406 – 0.04191ρh (h in meters) = 0. it is usual to combine them into a simple Elevation Correction.09406 – 0.01277ρ)h] mGal/ft Hence the correction for the station B in the above figure will be: g = gO – (0.B.C. 32 .041981ρh = [(03086 – 0.01277ρ)h Where gO is the observed gravity value.04191ρ)h] mGal/m = [(0.3086h – 0. = 0. EC = FAC – BC or = BC – FAC = 0.1277 ρh (h in feet) Since the FAC and BC are both proportional to elevation above (or below) datum.

Latitude Correction: Gravity Variation with Latitude: The force due to gravity at a point on the Earth’s surface is vector result of the attraction of the Earth and the center fugal force. The resultant acts at right angles to the ellipsoid of rotation. The angle Ø defines the geodetic (geographic) latitude 33 .

we would expect the gravity to be smaller at the equator than at the poles.The elliptical shape of the earth causes gravity to vary with latitude because the distance between the gravimeter and the earth's center varies with latitude. The magnitude of the gravity changes from the center of mass of the earth to the gravimeter squared. 34 . Thus. qualitatively. because the surface of the earth is farther from the earth's center at the equator than it is at the poles.

Hence the gravity is reduced by a value of dw2 at any point on the surface.Acceleration due to center fugal force = dw2 where w is the angular velocity. Ø α The vector which its angle is Ø is the gravity 35 . α is called geocentric latitude Ø is called geographic latitude.

But this is not the case 36 .If the earth was: 1-Homogeneous 2-Perfect sphere 3-Not rotating Then Gravity readings wherever on the earth’s surface will be the same.

Increasing gravity Decreasuing gravity R1 R1=6378km R2= 6356km Increasing gravity R2 g(equator)= 978.3Gal (1% of this value is due to center fugal force).N -The difference in gravity between the pole and equator due to radius difference is about 5.21772mGal Decreasuing gravity 37 .03185mGal g(pole)=983.

C1 and C2 are constants (0. The general form of this formula is: gØ = g0(1+C1sin2Ø-C2sin2 2Ø) Where gØ is the theoretical value at a latitude Ø.0000059 respectively). g0 is the theoretical gravity value at equatorial sea level (=978.0053024 and 0. By differentiating this formula with respect to Ø we obtain: ∆gØ = 1.812 sin 2Ø mGal/km .307sin 2Ø mGal/mile This value is either added or subtracted according to the above figure 38 ∆gØ = 0.0318Gal).The value of gravity at any point on the surface is given theoretically by the international formula of (Clauriat) which is widely accepted.

07 mGal ….1x [0. is: 0. which will be subtracted from the observed reading.This relation could be used for purposes of latitude corrections in local surveys where Ø is the latitude angle of base station..812 sin 2(36)] = 0. Example: A station 100m north of base station in Erbil City (lat. ~36N).(Check it) 39 . its correction value.

Warp: Is the gravity anomaly due to the excess mass.e. page 34) 40 . Geoid: is the reference spheroid affected by masses.Reference spheroid Geoid Warp Anomalous mass (Exess mass) Reference spheroid (ellipse of rotation): mean sea level surface with excess landmasses removed and oceans filled (i. It could be downward when the case is deficiency in mass. homogeneous). (see Reynolds.

we remove the effect of the mass surrounded by the rectangle.Terrain (Topographic) Correction: It accounts for the errors caused by assuming the materials between the station and datum as a slab in Bouguer correction since those materials are neither homogeneous nor of constant thickness. however. that in applying this correction in the presence of a valley to the left of point B. actually didn't exist. therefore. a small adjustment must be added back into our Bouguer corrected gravity to account for the mass that was removed as part of the valley and. Note. Thus. we have accounted for too much mass because the valley actually contains no material. Bouguer slab In applying the slab correction to observation point B. 41 .

valley Hill 42 . in both cases it leads to reduce gravity value. towards earth's center Pendulum deflected towards (excess) mass or away from the (deficiency) in mass.Principle of (always) adding the effect of Terrain correction is illustrated below Pendulum normal.

1996.Terrain correction must be calculated for every gravity station and for all significant topographic features.e.05 the distance). 43 . Sharma. 1991 or any other geophysical textbook. Reynolds. For the details of doing the correction please refer to Dobrin. (all these texts are present in the department’s library).if height is ~0. Keary and Brooks. 1976. 1997. It is usually necessary for the heights greater or equal to 5% of the distance from the topography to the gravity station (i.

Hammer Chart See Rynolds. page 62-64 or Keary and Brooks. page 129 44 .

A. The B.). + ∆ (FAC – BC) +/.gbase = (go – gbase) + *∆ Drift C.A. which should correlates only with lateral variations in density of the upper parts of the crust and which are of most interest to applied geophysicists and geologists.Bouguer Anomaly (see Reynolds. is the difference between the observed gravity value (go) adjusted by the algebraic sum of all the necessary corrections.∆LC + ∆TC+ = B. 45 . page 70-71) The end product of gravity data corrections is the Bouguer Anomaly (B. and that at a certain base station (gbase) ∆gb = go +∑ (all corrections) .A.

e. without the effect of density).FAC FAA's are drawn because . while the observed data show a profile shape that is opposite to the surface topographic shape.Simple Bouguer Anomaly (SBA): when no terrain correction is applied.LC +/. Free Air Anomaly (FAA): Is the Bouguer Anomaly without Bouguer and Terrain Corrections (i. it is strongly influenced by topography. FAA = (go-gbase) +/. Generally the FAA could easily be correlated with the general topography of the surveyed area.No assumptions are made. 46 . Complete Bouguer Anomaly (CBA): when terrain correction is applied.

e. The movement of the mass is either translation or rotational.Gravimeters: (See also Dobrin. Transational Rotational mg mg 47 . The principal part of gravimeters is composed of delicate spring and small mass that is affected by change in place leading to change in gravity. page 386-390) Gravimeters are devices by which relative measurements of gravity are made (i. measuring change in gravity from point to point).

Therefore a sort of amplifier is needed. Hook’s law can be utilized to explain: m∆g α s m∆g=k∆s where k is the elastic spring constant ∆s = m/k ∆g ∆s should be measured to a precission of ~ 1/108 for the purposes of exploration. variation of the weight (mg) of the mass caused by the variation of gravity cause the length of the spring to vary and give a measure of change of gravity.The stable type of gravimeters principally depend upon the two forces named force of gravity (downward) and force of sprig pulling the mass upward.In practice. S S + ∆S mg m(g+∆g) 48 . Measure of gravity = m∆g There is aneed to measure changes in length of the spring of 30nm (nanometer) for 30cm long spring (3nm is much less than the wavelength of the visible light.

mechanical or electrical amplifications are used.Fine adjustment screw to bring to null positionScale (photocell + galvanometer)Light beammirrormassSpring beamLight source Example: -Askania Gravimeter: Fine adjustment screw to bring to null position Scale (photocell + galvanometer) Light source Light beam mirror Spring beam mass 49 .Because of the dual function of the spring (named the support of the mass and the measuring device) the stable types of gravimeters are of restricted range of sensitivity although some forms of optical.

These gravimeters are designed so that when its sensitive element is displaced due to change in gravity. The measure of gravity in a certain station is carried out by the force necessary to return the element to its equilibrium state.The unstable gravimeters (astatic) on the other hand employs additional force (other than the spring in static gravimeters) which is called (third force) that acts in the same sense as the extension or contraction of the spring and amplifies the movement directly. 50 . The force necessary to return the element to its equilibrium position is a measure for the gravity change. other force/s tending to increase the displacement comes into play.