The University of Alberta Geophysics Field School


Electromagnetic survey on the University of Alberta campus


Geoph436 Field School Fall Term 2023

Field measurements on campus in the first four weeks of the term,

Final Reporting TBD Fall Semester (usually the end of November)


Instructor: Prof. Vadim Kravchinsky (

Field school TA: Masoud Souzani (


Our sponsors:



Geophysics 436 is an intensive weeklong field camp for the 4th year undergraduate and often 1st year graduate students in Geophysics. Geophysics 436 is a mandatory component of the undergraduate Geophysics degree and, after 2014, became a requirement for those seeking Professional registration under APEGA.

There is a number of different geological targets for the various surveys: sedimentary cross-sections, buried industrial features (water pipelines, electrical lines, sidewalks, near road buried features), environmental (depth of water penetration, sedimentary layer disturbance), etc. The student teams will be reminded of the basic theory behind the measurements, be taught how to operate various geophysical equipment, carry out surveys with this equipment, and perform basic analyses and an interpretation. Successful completion of the course requires reporting the results both in a written reports (assignments) and an oral presentation. We will have a presentation session at the end of November. Make sure to take lots of photos for the poster and reports (downloaded photos from the internet will NOT be allowed).

Different geophysical measurements will be carried out, including:

Potential Fields Gravity and Magnetics

Electromagnetic Methods Ground Penetrating Radar, EM sounding, Electrical Resistivity Tomography

Surveying Differential GPS

Seismology: Refraction Seismic Profiling

Field methods may vary from year to year, depending on the availability of the equipment.

What happens after the field school after the data are collected in the field and prepared for analysis, the course instructor and teaching assistant process and analyze the data before handing them in for your further analysis. Preparation, organizing and pre-processing of the data collected in the field is time-consuming; the data will be ready for your analysis gradually. You will perform further processing, analysis and interpretation of the selected data sets from the field school. Please plan to allocate enough time, as Matlab coding and report writing will take your time.



1. FEES: The field school is the course GEOPH 436, and you will need to register for it. In addition, the departmental course fees are to be paid ($500 per student) to pay for food, accommodation, and transportation to the site. If you have not registered for Geoph 436, please do so as soon as the registration opens on BearTracks. Please make out a check payable to the University of Alberta; this must reach us before August 15th. Please contact Amy Wang in the General Office of the Department of Physics to pay the fee.



a. Contact and Emergency Information (this provides us with emergency contact and other information required for planning purposes; if you did not already do this for us, please get it to us as soon as possible.

b. Field School Waiver for U of Alberta Students and Volunteers Print this out, complete and bring it to departure DO NOT SIGN AS WE MUST WITNESS IT YOUR SIGNATURE!

c. Field School Waiver for Non U of A Participants Print this out, complete and bring it to departure DO NOT SIGN AS WE MUST WITNESS IT YOUR SIGNATURE!

d. Waiver for Volunteers Print this out, complete and bring it to departure DO NOT SIGN AS WE MUST WITNESS IT YOUR SIGNATURE!


3. RULES and POLICIES for Geophysics Field School please read these documents before we head to the field school.

a. Department Field School Rules

b. University Student Code of Behaviour


4. Other Considerations and Safety

a. All of the equipment, but particularly the gravimeter and the differential GPS, are very expensive. You must handle all of this equipment as if your life depended on it not being damaged. The instructors will help you initially so that you know how to use the equipment properly.

b. The students must always remember how to carry out their measurements as safely as possible. This will include:

1. Wearing your assigned safety jacket

2. Taking care along the roads in particular.

3. Not allowed to use earbuds or headphones during the day; you must be able to hear.

Geophysics Field School 2015

Geophysics Field School 2020

Geophysics Field School 2022