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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Graduate courses in Geophysics

Primarily for graduate students; undergraduates may enroll with consent of instructor.

GEOPHYS 200. Fluids and Flow in the Earth: Computational Methods

Interdisciplinary problems involving the state and movement of fluids in crustal systems, and computational methods to model these processes. Examples of processes include: nonlinear, time-dependent flow in porous rocks; coupling in porous rocks between fluid flow, stress, deformation, and heat and chemical transport; percolation of partial melt; diagenetic processes; pressure solution and the formation of stylolites; and transient pore pressure in fault zones. MATLAB, Lattice-Boltzmann, and COMSOL Multiphysics. Term project. No experience with COMSOL Multiphysics required.

3 units, Win (Staff)

GEOPHYS 201. Frontiers of Geophysical Research at Stanford: Faculty Lectures

Required for new students entering the department. Second-year and other graduate students may attend either for credit or as auditors. Department faculty and senior research staff introduce the frontiers of research problems and methods being employed or developed in the department and unique to department faculty and students: what the current research is, why the research is important, what methodologies and technologies are being used, and what the potential impact of the results might be.

1 unit, Aut (Beroza, G)

GEOPHYS 202. Reservoir Geomechanics

Basic principles of rock mechanics and the state of stress and pore pressure in sedimentary basins related to exploitation of hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs. Mechanisms of hydrocarbon migration, exploitation of fractured reservoirs, reservoir compaction and subsidence, hydraulic fracturing, utilization of directional and horizontal drilling to optimize well stability.

3 units, alternate years, not given this year

GEOPHYS 203. Professional Development in Geoscience Education

(Same as EESS 200, GES 200.) May be repeated for credit.

1 unit, Aut (Payne, J), Spr (Payne, J)

GEOPHYS 205. Honors Program

Experimental, observational, or theoretical honors project and thesis in geophysics under supervision of a faculty member. Students who elect to do an honors thesis should begin planning it no later than Winter Quarter of the junior year. Prerequisites: department approval.

1-3 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

GEOPHYS 207. Journey to the Center of the Earth

(Same as GES 107, GES 207, GEOPHYS 107.) The interconnected set of dynamic systems that make up the Earth. Focus is on fundamental geophysical observations of the Earth and the laboratory experiments to understand and interpret them. What earthquakes, volcanoes, gravity, magnetic fields, and rocks reveal about the Earth's formation and evolution.

3 units, Win (Lawrence, J; Mao, W)

GEOPHYS 210. Basic Earth Imaging

Echo seismogram recording geometry, head waves, moveout, velocity estimation, making images of complex shaped reflectors, migration by Fourier and integral methods. Anti-aliasing. Dip moveout. Computer labs. See

3-4 units, Aut (Claerbout, J; Clapp, R; Cardoso, C)

GEOPHYS 211. Environmental Soundings Image Estimation

Imaging principles exemplified by means of imaging geophysical data of various uncomplicated types (bathymetry, altimetry, velocity, reflectivity). Adjoints, back projection, conjugate-gradient inversion, preconditioning, multidimensional autoregression and spectral factorization, the helical coordinate, and object-based programming. Common recurring issues such as limited aperture, missing data, signal/noise segregation, and nonstationary spectra. See

3 units, Win (Claerbout, J; Ayeni, G)

GEOPHYS 222. Reflection Seismology

(Formerly 182.) The principles of seismic reflection profiling, focusing on methods of seismic data acquisition and seismic data processing for hydrocarbon exploration.

3 units, alternate years, not given next year

GEOPHYS 223. Reflection Seismology Interpretation

(Formerly 183.) The structural and stratigraphic interpretation of seismic reflection data, emphasizing hydrocarbon traps in two and three dimensions on industry data, including workstation-based interpretation. Lectures only, 1 unit. Prerequisite: 222, or consent of instructor.

1-4 units, alternate years, not given this year

GEOPHYS 224. Seismic Reflection Processing

(Formerly 184.) Workshop in computer processing of seismic reflection data. Students individually process a commercial seismic reflection profile from field tapes to migrated stack, using interactive software on a workstation. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

3 units, alternate years, not given this year

GEOPHYS 240. Crosswell Seismic Profiling

Seismic imaging between boreholes for applications to subsurface characterization, reservoir imaging, and reservoir monitoring. Topics include data acquisition, data analysis, data processing and imaging. Inversion models for transmitted, reflected, and diffracted waves for imaging velocity, attenuation, and anisotropy in heterogeneous media. Use of field datasets and field applications. Prerequisites: 160 or equivalent; familiarity with Matlab or other programming language.

3 units, Win (Harris, J)

GEOPHYS 241A. Practice of Geostatistics and Seismic Data Integration

(Same as ENERGY 241.) Students build a synthetic 3D fluvial channel reservoir model with layer depths, channel geometry, and facies-specific petrophysic and seismic properties, stressing the physical significance of geophysical data. Reference data set is sparsely sampled, providing the sample data typically available for an actual reservoir assessment. Geostatistical reservoir modeling uses well and seismic data, with results checked against the reference database. Software provided (GSLIB and SRBtools). Prerequisite: ENERGY 240. Recommended: experience with Unix, MATLAB/C++/Fortran programming.

3-4 units, Spr (Mukerji, T; Caers, J)

GEOPHYS 255. Report on Energy Industry Training

On-the-job-training for master's and doctoral degree students under the guidance of on-site supervisors. Students submit a report detailing work activities, problems, assignment, and key results. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: written consent of adviser.

1-3 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

GEOPHYS 257. Introduction to Computational Earth Sciences

Techniques for mapping numerically intensive algorithms to modern high performance computers such as the Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science's (CEES) high productivity technical computing (HPTC). Topics include: debugging, performance analysis, and concepts of parallel programming; efficient serial and parallel programs; OpenMP; and MPI. Exercises using SMP and cluster computers. See Recommended: familiarity with MATLAB, C, or Fortran. May be repeated for credit.

2-4 units, Spr (Clapp, R; Harris, J)

GEOPHYS 260. Rock Physics for Reservoir Characterization

How to integrate well log and laboratory data to determine and theoretically generalize rock physics transforms between sediment wave properties (acoustic and elastic impendence), bulk properties (porosity, lithology, texture, permeability), and pore fluid conditions (pore fluid and pore pressure). These transforms are used in seismic interpretation for reservoir properties, and seismic forward modeling in what-if scenarios.

3 units, Win (Dvorkin, J)

GEOPHYS 262. Rock Physics

Properties of and processes in rocks as related to geophysical exploration, crustal studies, and tectonic processes. Emphasis is on wave velocities and attenuation, hydraulic permeability, and electrical resistivity in rocks. Application to in situ problems, using lab data and theoretical results.

3 units, Aut (Mavko, G)

GEOPHYS 265. Imaging Radar and Applications

(Same as EE 355.) Radar remote sensing, radar image characteristics, viewing geometry, range coding, synthetic aperture processing, correlation, range migration, range/Doppler algorithms, wave domain algorithms, polar algorithm, polarimetric processing, interferometric measurements. Applications: polarimetry and target discrimination, topographic mapping surface displacements, velocities of ice fields.

3 units, Win (Zebker, H)

GEOPHYS 270. Electromagnetic Properties of Geological Materials

Laboratory observations and theoretical modeling of the electromagnetic properties and nuclear magnetic resonance response of geological material. Relationships between these properties and water-saturated materials properties such as composition, water content, surface area, and permeability.

2-3 units, not given this year

GEOPHYS 280. 3-D Seismic Imaging

The principles of imaging complex structures in the Earth subsurface using 3-D reflection seismology. Emphasis is on processing methodologies and algorithms, with examples of applications to field data. Topics: acquisition geometrics of land and marine 3-D seismic surveys, time vs. depth imaging, migration by Kirchhoff methods and by wave-equation methods, migration velocity analysis, velocity model building, imaging irregularly sampled and aliased data. Computational labs involve some programming. Lab for 3 units.

2-3 units, Spr (Biondi, B)

GEOPHYS 287. Earthquake Seismology

Theorems in elastodynamics, Green's functions, attenuation, wave propagation in layered media, ray theory, seismic moment tensors, finite-source effects, kinematics and dynamics of earthquakes, and engineering aspects of seismology.

3 units, Win (Beroza, G)

GEOPHYS 288A. Crustal Deformation

Earthquake and volcanic deformation, emphasizing analytical models that can be compared to data from GPS, InSAR, and strain meters. Deformation, stress, and conservation laws. Dislocation models of strike slip and dip slip faults, in 2 and 3 dimensions. Crack models, including boundary element methods. Dislocations in layered and elastically heterogeneous earth models. Models of volcano deformation, including sills, dikes, and magma chambers.

3-5 units, alternate years, not given this year

GEOPHYS 288B. Crustal Deformation

Earthquake and volcanic deformation, emphasizing analytical models that can be compared to data from GPS, InSAR, and strain meters. Viscoelasticity, post-seismic rebound, and viscoelastic magma chambers. Effects of surface topography and earth curvature on surface deformation. Gravity changes induced by deformation and elastogravitational coupling. Poro-elasticity, coupled fluid flow and deformation. Earthquake nucleation and rate-state friction. Models of earthquake cycle at plate boundaries.

3-5 units, alternate years, not given this year

GEOPHYS 289. Global Positioning System in Earth Sciences

The basics of GPS, emphasizing monitoring crustal deformation with a precision of millimeters over baselines tens to thousands of kilometers long. Applications: mapping with GIS systems, airborne gravity and magnetic surveys, marine seismic and geophysical studies, mapping atmospheric temperature and water content, measuring contemporary plate motions, and deformation associated with active faulting and volcanism.

3-5 units, Win (Segall, P), alternate years, not given next year

GEOPHYS 290. Tectonophysics

The physics of faulting and plate tectonics. Topics: plate driving forces, lithospheric rheology, crustal faulting, and the state of stress in the lithosphere. Exercises: lithospheric temperature and strength profiles, calculation of seismic strain from summation of earthquake moment tensors, slip on faults in 3D, and stress triggering and inversion of stress from earthquake focal mechanisms.

3 units, Win (Zoback, M)

GEOPHYS 300. Earth Sciences Seminar

(Same as EESS 300, EARTHSYS 300, EEES 300, GES 300, IPER 300.) Required for incoming graduate students except coterms. Research questions, tools, and approaches of faculty members from all departments in the School of Earth Sciences. Goals are: to inform new graduate students about the school's range of scientific interests and expertise; and introduce them to each other across departments and research groups. Two faculty members present work at each meeting. May be repeated for credit.

1 unit, Aut (Harris, J)

GEOPHYS 385A. Reflection Seismology

(Same as GEOPHYS 185A.) Research in reflection seismology and petroleum prospecting. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Biondi, B; Clapp, R), Win (Biondi, B; Clapp, R), Spr (Biondi, B; Clapp, R), Sum (Staff)

GEOPHYS 385B. Environmental Geophysics

(Same as GEOPHYS 185B.) Research on the use of geophysical methods for near-surface environmental problems. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Knight, R), Win (Knight, R), Spr (Knight, R), Sum (Staff)

GEOPHYS 385E. Tectonics

(Same as GEOPHYS 185E.) Research on the origin, major structures, and tectonic processes of the Earth's crust. Emphasis is on use of deep seismic reflection and refraction data. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Klemperer, S; Sleep, N; Thompson, G), Win (Klemperer, S; Sleep, N; Thompson, G), Spr (Klemperer, S; Sleep, N; Thompson, G), Sum (Staff)

GEOPHYS 385J. Global Seismic Techniques, Theory, and Application

(Same as GEOPHYS 185J.) Topics chosen from surface wave dispersion measurement, 1D inversion techniques, regional tomographic inversion, receiver functions, ray theory in spherical geometry, seismic attenuation, seismic anisotropy, seismic focusing, reflected phases, stacking, and interpretations of seismic results in light of other geophysical constraints. May be repeated for credit.

1-3 units, Aut (Lawrence, J), Win (Lawrence, J), Spr (Lawrence, J), Sum (Lawrence, J)

GEOPHYS 385K. Crustal Mechanics

(Same as GEOPHYS 185K.) Research in areas of petrophysics, seismology, in situ stress, and subjects related to characterization of the physical properties of rock in situ. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Zoback, M), Win (Zoback, M), Spr (Zoback, M)

GEOPHYS 385L. Earthquake Seismology, Deformation, and Stress

(Same as GEOPHYS 185L.) Research on seismic source processes, crustal stress, and deformation associated with faulting and volcanism. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Zoback, M; Segall, P; Beroza, G), Win (Beroza, G; Segall, P; Zoback, M), Spr (Segall, P; Beroza, G; Zoback, M)

GEOPHYS 385S. Wave Physics

(Same as GEOPHYS 185S.) Theory, numerical simulation, and experiments on seismic and electromagnetic waves in complex porous media. Applications from Earth imaging and in situ characterization of Earth properties, including subsurface monitoring. Presentations by faculty, research staff, students, and visitors. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Harris, J), Win (Harris, J), Spr (Harris, J)

GEOPHYS 385V. Poroelasticity

(Same as GEOPHYS 185V.) Research on the mechanical properties of porous rocks: dynamic problems of seismic velocity, dispersion, and attentuation; and quasi-static problems of faulting, fluid transport, crustal deformation, and loss of porosity. Participants define, investigate, and present an original problem of their own. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Mavko, G), Win (Mavko, G), Spr (Mavko, G)

GEOPHYS 385Z. Radio Remote Sensing

(Same as GEOPHYS 185Z.) Research applications, especially crustal deformation measurements. Recent instrumentation and system advancements. May be repeated for credit. WIM at 3-unit level.

1-3 units, Aut (Zebker, H), Win (Zebker, H), Spr (Zebker, H)

GEOPHYS 399. Teaching Experience in Geophysics

On-the-job training in the teaching of geophysics. An opportunity to develop problem sets and lab exercises, grade papers, and give occasional lectures under the supervision of the regular instructor of a geophysics course. Regular conferences with instructor and with students in the class provide the student teacher with feedback about effectiveness in teaching.

2-4 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

GEOPHYS 400. Research in Geophysics

1-15 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

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