Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Reservoir Geophysics

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeGEOV274
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

Reservoir geophysics aims to show how geophysical investigations may provide possible types of fluids and volumes of these in rocks that may be several kilometers below the earth's surface. This is important in exploration for hydrocarbons or reservoirs for potential storage of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, this is essential in monitoring and optimized production of reservoirs that are already used for hydrocarbon production or carbon dioxide sequestration. The course covers the wide range of physical principles needed in such mapping, and shows their use in real applications.

At the end of the course, the student shall know the basic principles behind the methods and be able to solve simple relevant exercises, and, furthermore, be able to discuss possible sources of error attached to the results.

The course has a thematic structure and starts by explaining the various physical properties of rocks and fluids and why they are influencing on geophysical measurements. Particular attention is on seismic. Then a review of quantities describing the reservoir properties of a porous rock is given, followed by various theories for computing the adherent seismic properties. Subsequently, is outlined how seismic properties of a reservoir is depicted in seismic data and seismic attributes. Finally, reservoir conditions are coupled to seismic observables, which defines the main principles of static and dynamic quantitative seismic interpretation.

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 can explain

  • the seismic properties of a rock
  • the reservoir properties of a rock and how these are affected by various geological processes
  • the most important principles used to calculate the seismic properties of unconsolidated and consolidated rocks
  • the qualitative effects of altered reservoir conditions on seismic properties
  • the most basic steps in seismic analysis and the most important seismic attributes
  • the basics of seismic resolution
  • the various steps in quantitative seismic interpretation

The student can

  • from petrophysical data compute the adherent elastic and seismic properties
  • compute how the elastic and seismic properties of a multi-mineral and multi-fluid rock may change with altered geometrical distributions of these
  • calculate how mechanical and chemical compaction alter the seismic properties of a rock
  • compute the changes in seismic properties of a rock due changes in pore fluid composition or fluid pressure
  • perform simple Amplitude versus Offset analysis and utilize this in reservoir characterization
  • construct a socalled Rock Physics Template

General competence
The student has

  • acquired knowledge of how rock type and reservoir conditions can be recognized in geophysical data
  • knowledge of how the micro-structure of a rock may influence on its seismic properties on a larger scale
  • knowledge of quantitative seismic analysis on several levels
  • acquired knowledge in quantitative seismic interpretation
  • demonstrated competence in scientific ethics and the ability to work independently and as part of a team

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

GEOV111, GEOV113, MAT111, MAT121

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

  • Lectures, 2 hours/week
  • Supervised exercises, 2 hours/week

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The students must complete and hand in two problem sets which have to be approved in order to be allowed to take the oral exam. These problem sets are only valid for two (2) semesters, including the semester they were approved.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are:

  • Problem sets, 20% of total grade.
  • Oral examination, 80% of total grade

Both examination parts must be passed with the grade E or better to get final assessment in the course.

Examination Support Material


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

Assessment is only provided 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


The student coordinator can be contacted here:


Exam information