• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Earth Physics, Geology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Louis-Noel Moresi
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

Some activities that form part of this course can be taken remotely or on-campus in Sem 2 2020. Check timetable for details. Group limits may apply.

This course consists of a series of modules dealing with the advanced geophysical methods that are used to explore Earth. The course combines advanced theory in these areas with integrated case studies, laboratory experiments, and applications related to current research topics. Three fundamental disciplines form the core of this course:

(i) rock physics; (ii) seismology; and (iii) geodesy. Typical questions addressed include: (i) how and why do rocks deform? (ii) how can we measure deformation of the Earth? (iii) How can the structure and evolution of planetary interiors be sensed remotely? (iv) How are active tectonic processes and the Earthquake cycle related?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Module 1: Rock Physics 1- Understand the fundamental solid mechanics theories of rock physics; 2- Solve simple quantitative problems using straightforward analytical techniques; 3- Understand how rock physics is relevant in engineering, structural geology and petroleum geophysics; 4- Apply the theory of rock physics to interpret the seismic properties of rocks; 5- Understand the crucial role of laboratory testing of rocks.
  2. Module 2: Geodesy and the Earthquake Cycle 1- Describe and explain the fundamentals of Geodesy, with particular emphasis on satellite techniques for measuring deformation of the Earth (e.g. GPS/GNSS, SLR, VLBI, SAR, GRACE); 2- Use GPS and/or InSAR geodetic techniques to measure Earth deformation associated with active tectonic processes and the Earthquake cycle; 3- Exploit geodetic data to develop models of active tectonic processes that are both the cause and result of earthquakes.
  3. Module 3: Seismology 1- Understand the principles of seismic wave propagation through the Earth; 2- Analyze and interpret seismic data recorded on seismometers; 3- Demonstrate how seismology can be used to investigate physical properties and processes within Earth’s interior.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Rock Physics (33.33%): 1- Take home test aimed at assessing students understanding of rock physics (LO 1.1-1.5); 2- Lab class report on one of the two rock physics labs to be undertaken (LO 1.5). (33) [LO 1]
  2. Geodesy - computer programming assignments in (33.33%): 1- Analysis of satellite observations (LO 2.1); 2- Modeling of Earth Deformation using satellite data (LO 2.2 and 2.3). (33) [LO 2]
  3. Seismology (33.33%): 1- Take home test assessing students understanding of seismology (LO 3.1-3.3); 2- Computer lab class report on tasks related to the inversion of the 1D Earth’s seismic structure (LO 3.3); 3- Critical synthesis of a frontier scientific article on seismology (LO 3.1 and LO 3.3). (33) [LO 3]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Lecture attendance (40 hours); Labs (8 hours); Tutorials and Workshops (24 hours); Self-study (60 hours). In most weeks there are three 3-hour blocks that consist of a lecture followed by a practical. The Course guide on Wattle will give up-to-date information about the exact scheduling of classes.

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be active in the EMSC-HSPC or POTE-HSPC Incompatible with EMSC8019

You will need to contact the Research School of Earth Sciences to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Reading material will be uploaded to Wattle as and when required.

Assumed Knowledge

Maths and Physics


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9797 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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