Reservoir Geophysics (GEO503)

Reflection seismology constitutes the main geophysical tool used in the industry for exploration of energy resources. In order to carry out proper and valid interpretation of this type of data, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the geophysical principles behind the different aspects of seismic data acquisition and the various modules involved in seismic data processing. 

The principles behind the acquisition, processing and interpretation techniques applied in reflection seismology are relevant in oil and gas exploration, mining, hydrogeology, geothermal exploration, as well as in archaeology, and geotechnical and environmental science. 

Course description for study year 2022-2023


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


  • Basics of seismic wave theory. 
  • Seismic velocity, ray theory, amplitude. 
  • Seismic reflection events. 
  • Seismic data acquisition. 
  • Seismic data processing. 
  • Seismic data analysis and inversion methods applied to reservoir characterisation 
  • Specialized techniques, including Time-lapse seismic applications for monitoring changes in saturation and pressure. 

Learning outcome


  • Master the basic principles of seismic wave propagation and ray theory, including mathematical foundations, but stressing the physical concepts underpinning the theory. 
  • Be familiar with the many different considerations involved in the acquisition of seismic data in the field, whether in the land or marine setting. 
  • Be familiar with the various steps in seismic processing, from raw data to final section. This includes both the principles and parameters involved in each module as well as proper sequences of application thereof. 
  • Be familiar with modern reservoir characterisation and monitoring techniques, including seismic inversion and time-lapse seismic. 


  • The candidate is able to process a 2D or 3D seismic dataset from field data to final section/cube.  
  • The candidate is able to apply basic seismic inversion techniques to post-stack seismic traces. 
  • The candidate is able to extract changes in amplitude and travel time from 4D seismic datasets, and interpret those in terms of changes in pressure and saturation. 

General competence:

  • The student is able to communicate and report on the processes necessary to produce a seismic image from seismic reflection data. 
  • The student is capable of appling the knowledge gained in the course to identify potential pitfalls in the geological interpretation of seismic reflection images.  

Required prerequisite knowledge



Portofolio assessment, project report and written exam

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Portofolio assessment 3/10 Letter grades All
Project report 3/10 Letter grades All
Written exam 4/10 3 Hours Letter grades None permitted

The course has a continuous assessment. All parts must be passed in order to obtain a final grade in the course. The grade of the portfolio is not given until all the reports have been assessed and the portfolio as a whole is graded. There are no re-sit opportunities for the report or portfolio. Students who fail or wish to improve their grade in these assessment components must retake the course the next time it is offered. Students who fail the exam may re-sit the exam the following semester.  

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Wiktor Waldemar Weibull

Study Program Director:

Lisa Jean Watson

Programme coordinator:

Karina Sanni

Head of Department:

Alejandro Escalona Varela

Method of work

4 hours of lectures and 2 hours of tutorial per week. Seismic processing software will be used to practice and complete a project based on real data acquired offshore Norway.

Open for

Energy, Reservoir and Earth Sciences - Master of Science Degree Programme

Course assessment

Form and/or discussion.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto