Geophysics is the study of the structure, properties and processes of the Earth using tools from physics and mathematics.
- physical structure, properties and dynamics of the whole Earth
- deformation and earthquakes
- rock magnetism and gravity
- heat-flow processes and volcanism
- physical oceanographic and atmospheric processes
Geophysics at Victoria is grouped into two themes - Solid Earth Geophysics and Meteorology. Meteorology courses are taught in conjunction with staff from New Zealand MetService, which is based in Kelburn, only five minutes from campus.
Geophysics research interests include meteorology and forecasting methodologies, geomagnetism, magnetotellurics and palaeomagnetism, earthquake seismology and earthquake recurrence, fault mechanics and the state of stress in the Earth, active source seismology and tectonics, anisotropy or the crust and mantle and lithospheric structure.
Geophysics may be studied as part of the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, and the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences depending on the interests of the student.
Both Schools are well equipped with a wide range of field and laboratory equipment. This includes broad-band and multi-channel seismographs, gravity meters, a fully equipped palaeomagnetic laboratory with cryogenic magnetometer, equipment for geomagnetic and geoelectrical exploration, and laboratories for processing satellite imagery and reflection and refraction seismics.
Students interested in postgraduate study at Victoria should consult academic staff to select a research topic and supervisor for the project.
The following projects are available:
- Study of the relation between volcanic activity and changes in seismic anisotropy as measured from earthquakes.
- Developing and testing models of probabilistic forecasting of earthquake activity.
- The relationship between seismic tremor and slow earthquakes.
- Seismic attenuation relationships for small and large magnitude earthquakes and their implications for strong ground shaking.
- Deformation processes in the mantle as revealed by structural geology and seismic anisotropy.
- Fault mechanics and lithospheric rheology.
- Modelling mountain weather systems using the Weather Research and Forecasting mesoscale model
- Marine geophysics
For more information, please download the Postgraduate Prospectus, or contact the School.
For information about solid earth geophysics, please contact Prof Euan Smith.
For information about meteorology please contact, Dr Jim McGregor.