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Field Geophysics, 4th Edition

John Milsom, Asger Eriksen

ISBN: 978-1-119-95690-7 June 2011 304 Pages



This handy pocket-sized field guide provides practical information and assistance to anyone engaged in small-scale surveys on the ground. Fully revised and updated throughout, the Fourth Edition includes comprehensive updates on the use of GPR and GPS and new sections on surface wave seismics and towed array systems. This has become the standard text in this area for use in the field and the experience of the two authors will ensure the book retains its place as one of the most popular handbooks in applied geophysics.
  • Fully revised and updated to incorporate new developments in the field;
  • Focus on quality control of the acquisition of data and basic field interpretation;
  • User-friendly, accessible writing style;
  • Includes updates on Ground Penetrating Radar and the use of GPS;
  • New section on surface wave methods.

Additional material available on the companion website at

Related Resources

Preface to the First Edition.

Preface to the Second Edition.

Preface to the Third Edition.

Preface to the Fourth Edition.

1 Introduction.

1.1 What Geophysics Measures.

1.2 Fields.

1.3 Geophysical Survey Design.

1.4 Geophysical Fieldwork.

1.5 Geophysical Data.

1.6 Bases and Base Networks.

1.7 Real-Time Profiling.

2 Gravity Method.

2.1 Physical Basis of the Gravity Method.

2.2 Gravity Meters.

2.3 Gravity Reductions.

2.4 Gravity Surveys.

2.5 Field Interpretation.

3 Magnetic Method.

3.1 Magnetic Properties.

3.2 The Magnetic Field of the Earth.

3.3 Magnetic Instruments.

3.4 Magnetic Surveys.

3.5 Simple Magnetic Interpretation.

4 Radiometric Surveys.

4.1 Natural Radiation.

4.2 Radiation Detectors.

4.3 Radiometric Surveys.

5 Electric Current Methods: General Considerations.

5.1 Resistivity and Conductivity.

5.2 Varying Currents.

6 Resistivity Methods.

6.1 DC Survey Fundamentals.

6.2 DC Practicalities.

6.3 Resistivity Profiling.

6.4 Resistivity Depth-Sounding.

6.5 Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI).

6.6 Capacitive Coupling.

7 SP and IP.

7.1 SP Surveys.

7.2 Polarisation Fundamentals.

7.3 Time-Domain IP Surveys.

7.4 Frequency-Domain Surveys.

7.5 IP Data.

8 Electromagnetic Methods.

8.1 Two-Coil CW Systems.

8.2 CWEM Conductivity Mapping.

8.3 Fixed-Source Methods.

8.4 Transient Electromagnetics.

9 Remote-Source Electromagnetics.

9.1 Natural Electromagnetic Radiation.

9.2 Controlled-Source Audio-Magnetotellurics (CSAMT).

10 Ground Penetrating Radar.

10.1 Radar Fundamentals.

10.2 GPR Surveys.

10.3 Data Processing.

11 Siesmic Methods: General Considerations.

11.1 Seismic Waves.

11.2 Seismic Sources.

11.3 Detection of Seismic Waves.

11.4 Recording Seismic Signals.

12 Seismic Reflection.

12.1 Reflection Theory.

12.2 Reflection Surveys.

13 Seismic Refraction.

13.1 Refraction Surveys.

13.2 Interpretation.

13.3 Limitations of the Refraction Method.

14 Seismic Surface Wave Methods.

14.1 Surface Wave Surveys.

14.2 Data Processing.

14.3 Limitations of the Method.

15 Maps, Mapping and GPS.

15.1 Maps and Mapping.

15.2 Satellite Navigation.

Appendix: Terrain Corrections for Hammer Zones B to M.


·         Update section on Ground Penetrating Radar to include multichannel methods

·         New section on surface wave seismics (a method that has been languishing in the background for many years but is now becoming very popular)

·         New section on borehole geophysics (crosshole/downhole seismics, crosshole res, crosshole GPR. Formerly restricted to ‘large-scale’ operations but now becoming more routinely applicable)

·         Section on towed array systems (becoming increasingly popular for large accessible areas)

·         Major update of section on use of GPS.

“Overall, Field Geophysics—one of several published by Wiley-Blackwell in their Geological Field Guide Series—is a good practical introductory reference book for a geophysical technician beginning their career or a quick refresher for someone using an instrument they haven’t picked up for many years.”  (Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, 2 May 2013)