Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Computational Methods in Solid Earth Physics

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeGEOV219
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

Computer programming is a core skill for geophysicists working in the industry and academia. The overall goal of this course is to provide the students with a good understanding of computational geophysics and why this topic is important in geophysics. A first subgoal of this course then is to provide the students with an intermediate level of understanding and programming skills in computational geophysics. A second subgoal of this course is for the students to learn how to do a literature study or a small research project on a topic in computational geophysics.

In this course the students will learn a number of tools from numerical mathematics, including interpolation, differentiation, integration, signal processing and solving simple ordinary/partial differential equations and write computer programs (in Matlab) that apply these methods on topics in geophysics. These topics include seismic exploration, earthquake seismology and gravity. The student will then do a literature or research project on a specific topic in computational geophysics, write a brief paper on this topic, with special emphasis on the numerical and programming aspects, and finally will give a presentation on this project.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The student

  • Understands various issues related to computer programming (including computer programming style and debugging)
  • Has a good basic understanding of fundamental concepts in numerical methods (such as interpolation /differentiation / integration in 1D/2D/3D, signal processing and solving differential equations)
  • Can discuss and apply these numerical methods to specific problems in computational geophysics (as found, for example in seismic exploration, earthquake seismology and gravity).
  • Knows how to conduct a literature study on a topic on computational geophysics and/or a small research project
  • Can use tools from the library as well as online tools for this project in computational geophysics

The student

  • Can write computer programs in Matlab to illustrate and solve scientific problems in geophysics
  • Can explain why computational geophysics is important in industry and academia
  • Can write a short scientific paper on a topic of relevance in computational geophysics
  • Can give a presentation on this topic in computational geophysics to peers and experts

General competence
The student

  • Can write computer programs of relevance in geophysics
  • Has knowledge of the importance of computational geophysics in industry and academia
  • Can do an independent literature study and/or research project in the area of computational geophysics
  • Is able to participate in a discussion on a research topic in computational geophysics

Required Previous Knowledge

GEOV112, MAT121

Recommended Previous Knowledge

MAT212, MAT131

Access to the Course

Access to the course requires admission to a program of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Teaching and learning methods

Total teaching of 12 weeks

First 8 weeks: Teaching using active learning techniques: 4 hours/week,

Last 4 weeks: research or literature project

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Mandatory active participation in all classes; all exercises have to be handed in and all exercises have to be passed.

Forms of Assessment

Report/portfolio evaluation:

  • exercises, oral presentation, written report

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Spring. Assessment is only given in semesters with teaching.

Reading List

The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

Course Administrator

The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program.


Contact Information

The student coordinator can be contacted here:

Exam information