Reflection Seismology

Donna M. Jurdy

Northwestern University
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs


Theory of seismic reflection technique. Acquisition, data processing and interpretation of seismic reflection data, seismic stratigraphy. Applications to hydrocarbon prospecting, structural geology, tectonics, stratigraphy, and deep continental structure.

Course URL:
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This course for majors and beginning graduate students employs problem sets and students work with reflection seismic data.

Course Goals:

  • Students should be able to interpret reflection sections.
  • Students should be able to establish the field set up and data collection used for reflection data.
  • Students should be able to relate the seismic reflection data to the tectonic setting.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Class exercises as well as exams involve interpretation of seismic reflection data. Also, each student in the course is responsible for finding and presenting a seismic reflection study published in journals. These studies are critiqued by the presenter and the group.

Skills Goals

  • A number of the exercises involve quantitative problems in reflection and refraction as well as time series analysis.
  • Student presentations prepare students' oral communications.
  • Reading and evaluating journal articles for the presentations develops critical analysis.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Interpretation of a variety of seismic reflection data continues throughout the course. Such material is included on both exams, often including a take-home final.

Attitudinal Goals

Make students aware that seismic reflection and well logging data have significant potential for any tectonic or stratigraphic research that they work on.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Work with actual seismic reflection sections and well logs with specific applications.


Problem sets and exams, including the take-home final exam.


Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 8kB Jun19 07)

Other Materials (Acrobat (PDF) 8kB Jun19 07)

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