Initial Publication Date: June 23, 2023


This module introduces students to the fundamentals of exploring the subsurface with gravity and magnetism. Unit 1 provides a scaffolded introduction to locating buried objects with gravity. Unit 2 explores the major concepts involved in using magnetism to explore the environment. Unit 3 offers practical applications of the two methods using authentic data sets.

The module is designed to take 1-2 weeks of class time. Teaching materials include PowerPoints, videos, data sets, and handouts.

Strengths of the Module

Use of real data: Authentic datasets are used throughout the module, beginning with unit 1. This allows students to grapple with the challenges of real data sets, where there is an inherent element of ambiguity. It also shows students how geophysics is used in a real-world setting.

Connects students to the world around them: This module offers students new ways of developing an understanding of the buried subsurface structures that underlie their world. Many of these investigations can also be conducted using ubiquitous cell phone technology.

Flexibility: This module can be used as individual units or as a complete module. Unit exercises can be used as homework or in-class/lab assignments. Exercises can be completed individually or in small groups.

A great fit for courses in

  • Geology
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Earth Science
  • Earth System Science
  • Geophysics

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