Modern civilization is heavily dependent on natural resources located in the upper few kilometers of the Earth. It is in this outer region of our planet where we find our principal sources of energy and the vast majority of raw materials required for the construction, manufacturing and chemical industries. In many areas, vital water supplies are stored in the shallow underground and it is in the upper few tens of meters where household and industrial wastes are commonly buried. Knowledge of the shallow underground is important for the planning of major buildings and civil engineering projects and for predicting the consequences of natural catastrophes.
Most easily accessible natural resources were discovered and extracted during the 19th and 20th centuries. To meet the growing demands of the world’s expanding population for natural resources, to resolve problems created by our misuse of the land, to provide critical data to architects and civil engineers and to forecast the effects of natural disasters, it is necessary for us acquire detailed information on the structure, composition and condition of the outer skin of the Earth. Applied geophysicists provide this essential information in a non-destructive manner. Fortunately, similar suites of geophysical tools can be used for the exploration and exploitation of deeply buried natural resources and for tracing shallow contaminant plumes escaping from poorly conceived landfills.
To help satisfy society’s rising need for highly qualified applied earth scientists, the partner universities together offer the joint Masters in Applied Geophysics. Our mission is to educate students in geophysical methodologies for exploring and monitoring the subsurface of the Earth. This education entails obtaining knowledge of the fundamental theory behind these methodologies, their application and their link to societally highly relevant fields such as natural resources, geo-energies (e.g., geothermal- and hydro-power and hydrocarbons), subsurface storage, geo-hazards, underground management and the environment. The graduates from our programme are internationally oriented and attractive for positions in industry and government/public organisations as well as well-prepared for doctoral studies in Earth sciences around the world.