TPG4170 - Rock Physics and Geophysical Monitoring


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours 3.PART , D

Course content

The modern seismic interpreter must be able to deploy a whole range of sophisticated geophysical techniques, such as seismic inversion, AVO (amplitude variation with offset), and rock physics modelling, as well as integrating information from other geophysical techniques and well data. Complex problems require a broad set of knowledge and skills.

P- and S-wave propagation in isotropic and anisotropic rocks. Principles for the measurement of acoustic properties in the laboratory. Basic rock physics models, mainly based on the Biot-Gassmann poro-elastic theory, effective media theory and critical porosity. Observed and modelled rock physics relations between seismic velocities and porosity, lithology, fluid saturation and mechanical stress/pore pressure. Among the geophysical techniques are the theory and practice of seismic amplitude analysis versus source and receiver offset (AVO/AVA) and seismic inversion. The correlation between well measurements and seismic measurements. The theory and practice of subsurface monitoring using repeated (4-D) geophysical field data measurements through calendar time and principle of seabed seismic (4 Component sensor seismic (4-C)).

Learning outcome

Students shall develop knowledge and skills within quantitative seismic analysis after finishing the course.

Knowledge: At the end of the course, students should understand the theory of rock physics models and the relations between seismic parameters and rock porosity, mineral composition and fluid properties, and in addition how external stress, pore pressure and temperature affect these parameters. They are expected to understand basic methods for estimating reflection coefficients from seismic data, their range of validity and possible sources of error. Students should know how seismic amplitude response can be used to calculate seismic parameters and rock parameters, in addition to hydrocarbon indicators. They shall know the principles and the application of various types of seismic data (2-D, 3-D, 4-D and 4-C seismic), for solving subsurface challenges at hand.

Skills: The students should be able to evaluate and apply rock physics models to analyze and predict seismic parameters and seismic reflection responses when i.e. CO2 is injected into the subsurface. They should also be able to choose and apply relevant seismic analysis schemes by use of software designed for AVO analysis and inversion of seismic data.

Digitization: After completing the course, students should be able to implement basic elements in practice such as rock physics and seismic models through programming preferably in Python or Matlab. For example, students are expected to enable simulations of the pore fluid influence on seismic parameters in a porous medium, or to simulate changes in synthetic seismic reflectivity as a result of injection of i.e. CO2 into a reservoir. Exercises set out to develop combined domain skills and digital training of the students that will enable them to solve complex problems effectively.

Sustainability: After completing the course, students have acquired a combination of knowledge of basic theory and skills in themes such as rock physics, 3D and 4D seismic analysis methodology that inspires students to contribute to a technological development that improves our understanding of the earth's interior and how they can contribute to i.e. to reduce climate emissions and encroachment on nature. The students' knowledge and skills within geophysical mapping and monitoring technology enable them to contribute and further develop i.e. potential for underground storage where the aim can be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to map the potential for safe storage of future energy carriers in layer sequences deep inside the ground.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and compulsory exercises using computer lab exercises through programming combining well and seismic data analysis. The lectures will be held in English if international students attend. The course evaluation is done by a student reference group.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

If the teaching is given in English, the examination papers will be given in English only. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English for written assessments. If there is a re-sit examination, the form of assessment may be changed from written to oral examination.

Required previous knowledge

Students are expected to have basic programming skills in preferably Python while other programming languages such as Matlab, C++ and/or R etc. are ok.

Course materials

Books, compendiums and articles from books and journals.

Recommended book: Seismic Amplitude: An interpreter's Handbook, by Rob Simm and Mike Bacon, Cambridge University Press.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIG4047 7.5
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Applied Geophysics
  • Seismics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Geoscience and Petroleum


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 3.PART , D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS School exam 100/100 3.PART , D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU