UCL Earth Sciences


GEOL0020 Field Geophysics

Using a range of geophysical and other methods, students will study this site, providing valuable information of its history. 

Coordinator: Dr Alex Song

Module details
TitleField Geophysics
UG CodeGEOL0020
CoordinatorDr Alex Song
Other ContributorsDr Maxim Ballmer, Dr Ana Ferreira
Credit15 credits
Written Exam 
Coursework10% Moodle quiz; 30% group presentation at the end of the fieldwork; 60% individual report.
Pre-RequisitesSecond year geology and geophysics courses:GEOL0012 Global Geophysics or equivalents. GEOL0058 Earth Sciences Matlab. PHAS0021 Electricity and Magnetism.
Maths & Stats Content and RequirementTo process geophysical field data, students are expected to be able to organize data in spreadsheets or Matlab to produce graphs and maps. Students will build their own data processing and analysis, codes/programmes, along with proprietary software. To plot data on regional scale maps, students need to understand transforming between latitude/longitude and grid co-ordinates systems. Students will use advanced filters and the Fast Fourier Transform for some data processing. The theoretical background of the geophysical signal processing performed in this module is covered in PHAS2246 Mathematical Methods III.
Total Number of Hours of Student Work150 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars6 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes10 hours
Days of Fieldwork4 days
OtherReport and notebook 50 hours


A new field area near London, with easy access for students. The new area is Marble Hill Park, a 27 Hectare site in Twickenham, SW London most famous for Marble Hill House an 18th centre retreat for Henrietta Howard, mistress of King George II.  The landscaped gardens around the house dates back to 1724 and have been altered a number of times.  Currently the park is under the care of English Heritage, but is open to the public, where much of the grounds are used for sports pitches.  Recently, English Heritage have undertaken a project to survey the site, to identify any archeological sites, particularly those linked with the original landscaping of the gardens for future development of the site.

Through ground penetrating radar (GPR) and resistivity studies they have found a number of targets that require further investigation to tie in with the history of the grounds.  It makes this an ideal new site to train our students in field geophysical techniques.


To learn the fundamental principles of key geophysical methods in the field, including the collection, processing and analysis of data to assess a site.


  • Students will become familiar with the application of practical geophysical field methods (ground penetrating radar, seismics, magnetics, gravity and resistivity) and complementary techniques at Marble Hill House in Twickenham, SW London.


  • 3 days of lectures prior to field work.
  • 4-day field course.
  • Practical sessions supporting the analysis of field data.


  • Familiarisation with key concepts and principles in relation to geophysical field techniques.
  • Familiarisation with methods used in the analysis and synthesis of geophysical data.
  • Presentation skills and data analysis.