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Geophysical Engineering

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The overall aim of the programme is to educate and provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to explore and exploit our rich natural resources and address societal challenges that require engineering and/or scientific solution.

 

The objectives are to provide students with:

a. Understanding of the engineering principles utilized in applied geophysics,

b. Ability to research, analyze, and synthesize solutions to an original and contemporary geophysics problem,

c. Knowledge in collection, processing, and interpretation of geophysical data,

d. Ability to apply geophysical knowledge in the exploration of oil and gas, mineral resources and groundwater.

e. Ability to apply geophysical principles in mining ore bodies and other engineering applications,

f.  Ability to apply geophysical techniques in siting disposal sites for household and industrial wastes, and

g. Ability to apply geophysical techniques in management of land resources, forecasting the effects of natural disasters, and assessing      the integrity of natural earth materials for addressing societal needs.

 

 The following shall be the admission requirements for prospective students:

- Either a First Class or Second Class (Upper Division) B.Sc. degree or its equivalent in Geological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mining    Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, Physics, Geology, Earth Science, Agricultural Engineering or any field of    specialization relevant to the programme from a recognized University or

- A Second Class (Lower Division) B.Sc. degree or its equivalent in Geological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, Physics, Geology, Earth Science, Agricultural Engineering or any field of specialization relevant to the programme from a recognized University with, at least, three (3) years of relevant experience.

- Applicants with degrees in other engineering/science disciplines (e.g. Agriculture Science, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, etc.)  may be required to take prerequisite courses to make up for deficiencies in undergraduate geological sciences.

- For non-English speaking applicants, arrangements may be made with the Department of Languages for the acquisition of the necessary English language skills prior to embarking on the programme.

 

Course Structure:

 

YEAR ONE – SEMESTER ONE

Module

Course Code

Course Name

Credits

T

P

C

Module 1

GED 503

Introduction to Applied Geophysics

3

1

3

Module 2

GED 507

Structural Geology for Engineers

2

2

3

Module 3

GED 531

Engineering Data Analysis

3

1

3

Electives (Select two courses)

 

Module 4

GED 535

Advanced Engineering Geology

2

2

3

GED 519

Geochemical Exploration Techniques

2

2

3

GED 537

Rock Physics for Reservoir Characterization

2

2

3

GED 539

Environmental and Engineering Applications

2

2

3

Total

12

8

15

 

YEAR ONE – SEMESTER TWO

Module

Course Code

Course Name

Credits

T

P

C

Module 5

GED 532

Magnetic and Gravity Methods in Exploration

2

2

3

Module 6

GED 534

Electrical and Electromagnetic Methods in Exploration

2

2

3

Module 7

GED 536

Geophysical Inverse Problems

2

2

3

Module 8

GED 504

Research Methodology

2

0

2

Electives (Select two courses)

 

Module 9

 

GED 540

Subsurface Methods in Petroleum Geology

2

2

3

GED 542

Groundwater Geophysics

2

2

3

GED 546

Seismic Methods and 3-D Seismic Imaging

2

2

3

GED 550

Agro–Geophysics

2

2

3

Total

12

10

17

 

YEAR TWO – SEMESTER ONE

Module

Course Code

Course Name

Credits

T

P

C

Module 10

GED 621

Thesis Research I

0

14

7

GED 641

Graduate Seminar I

0

2

1

Total

0

16

8

 

YEAR TWO – SEMESTER TWO

Module

Course Code

Course Name

Credits

T

P

C

Module 11

GED 622

Thesis Research II

0

14

7

GED 642

Graduate Seminar II

0

2

1

Total

0

16

8

 

 

Course Content:

(a)  GED 503 Introduction to Applied Geophysics

Objective:

The objective of this course is to provide students’ with the basic theoretical concepts and principles on relevant geophysical techniques applicable in exploration and engineering as well as some hands-on experience in conducting field geophysical surveys and data analysis.

 

Content:

The course will cover overview, data collection, reduction and interpretation of the main geophysical methods including seismic reflection and refraction, gravity, resistivity, induced polarization, ground penetrating radar, borehole geophysics and time domain electromagnetic methods.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical

 

Reading Materials:

  • An Introduction to Applied and Environmental Geophysics, 2nd ed., by JM Reynolds, Wiley and Blackwell, 2011.
  • Applied Geophysics, 2nd ed., by WM Telford, LP Geldart and RE Sheriff, Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1990.
  • Geophysics in Engineering Investigations by PW McDowell, RD Barker, AP Butcher, et al., Geological Society Engineering Geology Special Publication, 2002.

 

(b)  GED 507 Structural Geology for Engineers

Objectives:
 The objectives to: (a) understand the morphology of geological structures, (b) understand the role of tectonics and deformation in the formation of various types and orientations of geologic structures, (c) understand the important concepts in structural geology directly applicable to mineral deposits and others, (d) have practical skills in applying these concepts to mineral exploration, mining, geotechnical problems, and (e) be able to recognize and map structural features in the field and interpret structural geological data.

 

Content:

The course entails an introduction to structural geology, relevance of structural geology to geophysical studies, structure of the earth and plate tectonics, structural relationships, stress and strain analysis, rock failure, primary and secondary geological structures, structural data analyses using stereographic projection, and the role of structures in exploration for minerals, oil and gas, and water in Ghana. Field mapping techniques and field visit to the different formations in Ghana.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures, field practical and laboratory work.

 

Reading materials:

  • Structural Geology, 4th ed., by H Fossen, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • An outline of Structural Geology by BE Hobbs, WD Means and PF Williams, John Willey & Sons Inc., 1976.
  • Rock Slope Engineering, Civil and Mining, 4th ed., by DC Wyllie and CW Mah  Spon Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2005.
  • Basic Geological Mapping, 4th ed., by JW Barnes and RJ Lisle. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2004.
  • Structural Geology - An Introduction to Geometrical Techniques by DM Ragan, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

 

(c)  GED 531 Engineering Data Analysis

Objective:

The objective of this course is to introduce students to basic statistical concepts and methods of solving engineering and scientific problems.

 

Content:

The topics include introduction to statistical distributions, error propagation, sensitivity and uncertainty analyses, hypotheses testing and confidence intervals, regression analysis and modeling, linear and non-linear parameter estimation methods, time series analysis in spatial and temporal domain, principal component and correspondence analysis, and strategies for solving linear and non-linear least-squares/inverse problems.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and laboratory work.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Computational Statistics Handbook with MATLAB, 2nd ed., by WL Martinez and AR Martinez, Chapman and Hall / CRC Press, 2007.
  • Statistics in MATLAB: A Primer by M Cho and WL Martinez, Chapman and Hall / CRC Press, 2014.
  • Classification and Regression Trees by L Breiman, J. Friedman, CJ Stone and RA Olshen, CRC Press, 1984.

 

(d)  GED 535 Advanced Engineering Geology

Objective:

The objective of this course is to provide students with the ability to evaluate suitability of sites and materials for engineering projects using appropriate geological information and technique.

 

Content:

The topics in this course include: a) identifying geologic processes that affect construction and performance of specific engineering projects like highways, dams, power plants, buildings and waste disposal sites; b) determining the mechanisms through which these geologic processes affect the engineered structures and quantifying them; c) ways of avoiding and/or remediating undesirable effects of geologic processes; e) appropriate and effective means of communicating vital geological information; and f) field visits.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

 

 

Reading Materials:

  • Landslides and their Control by Q Záruba and V. Mencl, Elsevier, 1969.
  • Principles of Engineering Geology by PB Attewell and IW Farmer, Chapman and Hall, 1976.
  • Geology for Engineers, 7th edition, by FGH Blyth and MH de Freitas, CRC Press, 1984.
  • Engineering Geology and Geotechniques by DH Krynine and WR Judd, McGraw Hill Book, 1990.

 

(e)  GED 519 Geochemical Exploration Techniques

Objective:

The objective of the course is to expose students to modern techniques in geochemical mineral exploration as well as geochemical data evaluation, presentation and interpretation.

 

Content:

The course content includes: (a) Geochemical exploration: locating mineral deposits using lithogeochemical, pedogeochemical, hydrgeochemical, biogeochemical, stream sediments and physiographic methods; primary and secondary environments and dispersion patterns, relative mobility, migration, geochemical association of elements and zoning; (b) Assaying, standard solutions, classical and rapid methods of analysis; rock dissolution techniques, acid attack, rock dissolution procedures, fusion with alkali salts, detection limits and contamination effects; (c) Geochemical data evaluation and interpretation: data integrity; data transformations; identification of anomalies (Multivariate and Univariate Methods, Regression Analysis, etc.); levelling geochemical surveys and conceptual models; and (e) Exploration tenements acquisition.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Introduction to Mineral Exploration by AM Evans, Blackwell Scientific Publication, 1995.
  • Introduction to Geochemistry by KB Krauskopf, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co.,   1967.
  • Introduction to Exploration Geochemistry by AA Levinson, Applied Pub Publishing, 1974.
  • Geochemistry in Mineral Exploration, 2nd edition, by AW Rose, HE Hawkes, and JJ Webb,  Academic Press, 1979.
  • Modern Analytical Geochemistry by R Gill, Longman Publishers, 1997.

 

(f)   GED 537 Rock Physics for Reservoir Characterization

Objective:

This course will provide students with an understanding of the sensitivity of seismic and electrical measurements made on earth to mineralogy, porosity, pore shapes, pore fluids, pore pressures, stresses, and the anisotropy of the rock fabric resulting from the depositional and stress history of the rock, and how to use this understanding in quantitative interpretation of seismic and electrical data and in the construction of mechanical earth models.

 

Content:

The course content will discuss how to integrate well log and laboratory data to determine and, theoretically, generalize rock physics transforms between sediment wave properties (acoustic and elastic impendence), bulk properties (porosity, lithology, texture, permeability), and pore fluid conditions (pore fluid and pore pressure). These transforms are used in seismic interpretation for reservoir properties, seismic forward modeling in what-if scenarios, electrical properties of reservoirs, and field surveys.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and laboratory practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Physical Properties of Rocks: Fundamentals and Principles in Petrophysics by JH Schön, Elsevier Science, 2004.
  • The Rock Physics Handbook: Tools for Seismic Analysis of Porous Media, 2nd ed., by G Mavko, T Mukerji and J Dvorkin. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Rock Physics and Geomechanics in the Study of Reservoirs and Repositories edited by C David, and M Le Ravalec-Dupin. Special Publications, Vol. 284, Geological Society of London, 2007.

 

(g)  GED 539 Environmental and Engineering Applications

Objective:

The objective of this course is to introduce students to practical applications of using geophysical techniques to solve environmental, engineering and ground water problems.

 

Content:

The content will include application of geophysical methods to subsurface investigations related to civil engineering, earthquake engineering, soil dynamics, and vibrations in construction activities. Practical and field work will include exercises on reduction and interpretation of data to give the students an appreciation of the practical application, problems and limitations of the techniques studied during the course.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, 1st edition, by PV Sharma, Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • Field Geophysics (Geological Field Guide) by JJ Milsom and A Eriksen, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2011.
  • An Introduction to Applied and Environmental Geophysics, 2nd edition, by JM Reynolds, Wiley and Blackwell, 2011.
  • Applied Geophysics, 2nd edition, by WM Telford, LP Geldart and RE Sheriff, Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1990.
  • Geophysics in Engineering Investigations by PW McDowell, RD Barker, AP Butcher, et al., Geological Society Engineering Geology Special Publication, 2002.

 

(h)  GED 532 Magnetic and Gravity Methods in Exploration

Objective:

The objective of this course is to expose students to practical use of magnetic and gravity geophysical techniques in exploration.

 

Content:

The course will cover the theory of gravity and magnetic exploration methods; application of potential field theory in interpretation of gravity and magnetic fields, analysis of gravity anomalies, qualitative and quantitative rules for gravity and magnetic data interpretation; indirect methods of interpretation using characteristic curves and polygon method of interpretation, problems of ambiguities and resolution in interpretation, regional and residual anomalies and its separation using various methods; and aero-gravity, aeromagnetic, borehole gravity and micro-gravity surveys. Field surveys.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

 

Reading materials:

  • Applied Geophysics, 2nd edition, by WM Telford, LP Geldart and RD Sheriff, Press Syndicate of University of Cambridge, 1990.
  • An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration by P Keary, M Brooks and I Hill, Blackwell Science Ltd., 2002.
  • Gravity and Magnetic Methods for Geological Studies by DC Mishra, BS Publications, 2011.
  • Introduction to Geophysical Prospecting, 4th edition, by MB Dobrin and CH Savit, McGraw Hill Book Co., 1988.
  • Interpretation of Gravity and Magnetic Anomalies in Space and Frequency Domain by IVR Murthy, and DC Mishra, Association of Exploration Geophysics, 1989.

 

(i)    GED 534 Electrical and Electromagnetic Methods in Exploration

Objective:

The objective of this course is to expose students to practical use of electrical and electromagnetic geophysical techniques in exploration.

 

Content:

The course covers electrical properties of rocks, overview of electrical techniques in geophysics: direct-current resistivity, complex resistivity, induced polarization, self-potential method, electromagnetic techniques, ground penetrating radar, instrumentation for electrical prospecting, interpretation of field electrical data and application of the various methods in exploration geology (mining and petroleum), engineering geology, hydrogeology, and crustal geology. Field surveys.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

Reading Materials:

  • Direct Current Geoelectric Sounding: Principles and Interpretation by PK Bhattacharya and HP Patra, Elsevier Publishing Co., 1968.
  • Electrical Methods in Geophysical Prospecting by GV Keller and FC Frischknecht, Pergamon Press, 1966.
  • Geophysical Electromagnetic Theory and Methods by MS Zhdanov, Elsevier Publishing Co., 2009.

 

(j)    GED 536 Geophysical Inverse Problems

Objective:

The objective of this course is to enable students understand the available inversion techniques employed in analyzing and interpreting geophysical data.

 

Content:

The course will cover concepts of inverse theory with application to geophysics, inverses with discrete and continuous models, generalized matrix inverses, resolving kernels, regularization, use of prior information, singular value decomposition, nonlinear inverse problems, back-projection techniques, resolution, error propagation, goodness of fit, and linear programming. It will also cover application of Z transform, Fourier transform, and Laplace transform in the analysis of the relationship between input and output signals of linear systems, analyses of time and spatial signals, analog and discrete signals, convolution, filters, auto- and cross-correlation, power spectra, sampling theory, aliasing, signal analysis and processing, and application of geophysical signal analysis.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and laboratory practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Geophysical Data Analysis: Discrete Inverse Theory, MATLAB edition, by W Menke, Academic Press, 2012.
  • Inverse Theory for Petroleum Reservoir Characterization and History Matching by AC Reynolds, DS  Oliver, and N Liu, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Spectral Analysis and Filter Theory in Applied Geophysics by B Buttkuss, Springer, 2000.

 

(k)  GED 504 Research Methodology

Objective:

The objective of this course is to enhance the ability of students to write research proposals, undertake independent research, and write technical reports including thesis report and papers for publications.

 

Content:

The topics to be covered in this course include types of research, research organization and management, information search (in library and internet), producing good literature review and clear objectives, forms of thesis, writing and effective reading skills, how to appraise and draw sound conclusions, and the guidelines and structure of a thesis. Also included are planning and setting up experiments, data collection, and data preparation and analyses.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and seminars.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Communication Skills - A Guide for Engineering and Applied Science Students by HW Davies, Prentice Hall, 2001.
  • Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques by CR Kothari, New Age International, 2004.
  • Pocket Guide to Technical Writing by WS Pfeiffer, Prentice Hall, 2001.
  • Effective Communication for Science and Technology by J van Emeden, Palgrave, 2001.
  • Effective Technical Communication by A Eisenberg, McGraw-Hill, 1992.

 

(l)     GED 540 Subsurface Methods in Petroleum Geology

Objective:

The objective of this course is to introduce students to basic concepts and subsurface techniques used in the exploration, evaluation and development of hydrocarbons.

 

Content:

The course content includes source rocks and origin of petroleum, principles of fluid migration, reservoir rocks and traps, principles and methods of correlation and mapping of subsurface geological features, sedimentary geology concepts, exploration and development of hydrocarbons using subsurface techniques, petrophysical log evaluation, and introduction to reservoir evaluation and hydrocarbon production. Field surveys.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and laboratory practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Geology and Total Petroleum Systems of the Gulf of Guinea Province of West Africa by ME Brownfield, and RR Charpentier, U.S Geological Survey Bulletin 2207-C, 2006.
  • Correlation in Hydrocarbon Exploration by JD Collinson (ed.), Norwegian Petroleum Society, Graham & Trotman, 1989.
  • Elements of Petroleum Geology by RC Selley and SA Sonnenberg, Academic Press, 2014.

 

(m)  GED 542 Groundwater Geophysics

Objective:

The course objective is to provide students with an understanding of the various techniques employed in different environments for finding and utilizing groundwater resources.

 

Content:

Topics include geology of groundwater occurrence, physical characteristics of water-bearing formations and groundwater flow, reconnaissance survey, techniques (i.e. geological, geophysical and remote sensing) for siting wells and boreholes, location of safe drilling sites using geophysical methods, prediction of aquifer yields, and case histories and discussion. It will also cover the use of geophysical methods for imaging and characterizing the top 100 meters of the earth for hydrogeologic applications. Practical aspect of the course will involve acquisition of data on campus or nearby sites for interpretation and computer modeling.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Groundwater Geophysics: A Tool for Hydrogeology, 2nd edition, by R Kirsch, Springer Science & Business Media, 2008.
  • Groundwater Hydrology, 3rd edition, by DK Todd and LW Mays, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2005.
  • Applied Hydrogeology, 4th edition, by CW Fetter, Prentice Hall Inc., 2001.
  • Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology, 2nd edition, by PA Domenico and FW Schwartz, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1998.
  • Field Hydrogeology: A Guide for Site Investigations and Report Preparation, Second Edition, JE Moore, CRC Press, 2011.

 

(n)  GED 546 Seismic Method and 3-D Seismic Imaging

Objective:

The objective of the course is to expose students to interpretation of seismic data in prospecting for oil and gas.

 

Content:

The course will cover the theories, methods of solutions and applications involving wave propagation in elastic and poroelastic media; instrumentation for seismic prospecting, seismic reflection prospecting, and seismic waves in oil reservoir; acquisition of seismic reflection data, seismic data processing, geological interpretation of seismic reflection data and 3-D seismic exploration; and seismic refraction: refraction versus reflection, travel-time calculation, refraction operation in the field, correction and processing of refraction data, interpretation and modelling, and problems associated with seismic prospecting. Acquisition geometrics of land and marine 3-D seismic surveys, time vs. depth imaging, migration by Kirchhoff methods and by wave-equation methods, migration velocity analysis, velocity model building, and imaging irregularly sampled and aliased data. Practical aspect of the course will involve examples of applications to field data and field surveys on campus or nearby sites.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • Fundamentals of Geophysical Data Processing: with Applications to Petroleum Prospecting by JF Claerbout, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985.
  • Geophysical Image Estimation by Example by J Claerbout and S Fomel, Lulu.com, 2014
  • 3D Seismic Imaging by BL Biondo, SEG Books, 2006

 

(o)   GED 550 Agro–Geophysics

Objective:

The objective of this course to expose students to practical applications of geophysical techniques in agriculture towards sustainable food production.

 

Content:

The course content include: (a) non-invasive, fast and inexpensive mapping of spatial variability of soil properties (physical, chemical and biological) to optimise crop production and fertilizer application (seismic, electrical, magnetic and self-potential methods); (b) location of leaks in animal storage ponds and treatment lagoon in animal husbandry using self-potential methods; (c) use of IP and electrical methods to map clay pan, salinity, and saltwater intrusion; (d) Water table aggression around irrigation wells; (e) geophysical parameters and crop yield (crop management); and (f) use of geophysics in precision agriculture and food security. Practical aspect of the course will involve field surveys.

 

Mode of Delivery: Lectures and field practical.

 

Reading Materials:

  • An Introduction to Applied and Environmental Geophysics, 2nd edition, by JM Reynolds, John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
  • Near Surface Geophysics, Vol. 7, Issue 1, by European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, European Association of Petroleum Geoscientists and Engineers, 2009.

 

(p)  GED 621/622 Graduate Seminar I and II

Objective:

The objective of these courses are for the students to build their presentation skills and broaden their knowledge on current technologies from experienced experts from industry.

 

Content:

The students will be required to attend seminars given by professionals from industry at the College and, as well, present their research proposals, progress and findings at such seminars.

 

Mode of Delivery: Seminar Presentations

 

Reading Materials:

  • Relevant journal and refereed conference publications

 

(q)  GED 641/642 Thesis Research I and II

Objective:

The objective of these courses are for the students to conduct individual research work and come out with an examinable thesis.

 

Content:

The thesis work will consists of various combinations of activities including clearly formulating, specifying, defining and justifying a geophysical related research topic, carrying out a comprehensive literature review on the topic selected, applying basic scientific procedures and tools to conduct the research, and demonstrating ability for critical analyses of research outputs and writing.

 

Mode of Delivery: Supervision of independent research and report writing

 

Reading Materials:

  • Relevant journal and refereed conference publications
  • Relevant past theses dissertations