Introduction to Geophysics

Constantin CRANGANU

Brooklyn College, City University of New York
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs


This introductory course aims at familiarizing students with a number of important geophysical issues, both fundamental and applicative (seismotectonics, isostasy, well logging, prospections for oil and gas, etc.)

Course URL:
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an introductory course with no pre-requisites and does not serve as a prerequisite for other course, although we offer a graduate level Geophysics course. Typically, 50% of the students take the course as pre-service earth science teachers, and 50% of the students take the course to satisfy a general education requirement and prepare for a graduate school in geophysics. The course has a mandatory lab.

Course Goals:

After completing the geophysics course,
  • Students should be able to use geophysical information for their professional activities with a significant degree of confidence.
  • Students will broaden their knowledge of earth and space science.
  • Students will be able to identify problems that can be addressed using geophysical techniques.
  • Students will know how to use physical measurements to learn about subsurface materials and structures.
  • Students will understand how physical properties of rocks and minerals are connected to geophysical information.
  • Students will have knowledge about models, data, modeling, inversion.
  • Students will be able to recognize what is the "target", then separate data features caused by the target, and features caused by "not-target" (associated geology, measurement physics, source effects, etc).
  • Students will improve their capability to recognize what is known and what is not known, what needs to be known, and where/how to find out.
  • Students will improve their communications skills. (Your work as a professional is only as good as your ability to express your findings, decisions, opinions clearly and correctly to those who need to know.)
  • Students will be able to explain the benefits and limitations of using geophysics in a project to other non-geophysicists.
  • Students will practice how to use the professional literature.

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

The course activities and course structure are geared toward increasing the body of geophysical knowledge, computational literacy, modeling, etc. The homeworks, small class projects and exams are specifically designed to assess whether students have met/exceed the achieving goals.


Final grades are be based upon the arithmetic average of the examinations, class projects and homework. The weighting will be as follows: midterm exam 30%, final exam 30%, class projects 20% and homework 20%.


Syllabus (Microsoft Word PRIVATE FILE 37kB Jul20 07)