Institutt for geovitenskap
Masterprosjekt: Miljø - Energi - Ressurser

Geophysical investigations in caves in Norway


Project description
Geophysics can be applied in caves (karst or paleokarsts) for several reasons. Among them, archaeological investigations and a better understanding of caves' morphology and fillings (sediments) for a proper assessment of reservoir properties (as storage of water, oil, etc) are of high interest.

Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) are 2 geophysical methods used in such settings, both for archaeological purposes and for general cave surrounding/underground characterization.

Though practiced in various caves around the world, Norway has a limited experience in such geophysical acquisition in caves. Both due to an established cooperation at UiB with the Norwegian EVOCAVE project with preliminary GPR investigation spring 2022 (cf. attachments) and thanks to a cooperation with the University of Bordeaux (UB, France), specialized in the characterization and monitoring of decorated caves for their preservation (e.g., Lascaux in France; cf. attachment), the proposed MSc project will allow to both review practices and test at least GPR for caves in Norway. ERT data will be made available from UB but the project will strive to acquire ERT data in a Norwegian cave too, pending resources and time.

The project should help evaluating the possibilities for both GPR and ERT acquisitions in Norwegian caves, both considering the geological setting in comparison with other sites in the world and providing some guidelines for such methods based on the reported cases.

The project will be further designed fall 2022, due to I. Lecomte's 6-month research stay at UB in that period, and following various GPR and ERT tests carried out during that time in cooperation with Prof. C. Sirieix at UB. Depending on the candidate's background and interest, the focus might either be on the use of the geophysical methods and/or on their results and subsequent interpretation.

EVOCAVE: https://www.mn.uio.no/cees/english/research/projects/101491/news-and-blo...

Univ. Bordeaux, I2M/GCE:

Lascaux cave: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux

Solvikhola 2022

16.-19. mai 2022 gjorde S.-E. Lauritzen, I. Lecomte, H. Linge, L. Zijerveld (alle UiB-GEO), T. Klungseth Lødøen (UM-KULTUR) og M. Henriksen (NMBU) feltundersøkelser i Solvikhola og Svarthammarhola, Fauske, i forbindelse med prosjektene EvoCave (NFR). Hovedformålet med feltarbeidet var å gjøre georadarundersøkelser (GPR) ved bruk av GEOs skjermede 450 MHz-antenne. I Solvikhula ble det gjort høyoppløselig GPR-målinger langs flere linjer og i to ruter (hhv. 10,5 m2 og 24,8 m2). Formålet er å undersøke mulighetene for å gjøre en vitenskapelig utgravning (arkeologi, naturhistorie). Grotta har blitt kartlagt tidligere, men ble kartlagt på nytt for å ha nøyaktig lokalisering av grunnundersøkelsene. Bildene viser grotteåpningen og arbeid i grotta. 3D-kuben viser tydelig to områder med stein/fast fjell (rød farge, sterke signaler). Blå stjerne indikerer rutens nullpunkt.

I. Lecomte, UiB

Proposed course plan during the master's degree (60 ECTS):
To be discussed with the prospective student according to background (geological - geophysical) and interests.
The following courses should however be considered if geophysical background:
- GEOV300
- GEOV302
- GEOV274
- GEOV277
- GEOV375


A strong interest in applying geophysical methods, particularly GPR and ERT (see above), is required, whatever the background of the student.

External data:
ERT data from Univ. Bordeaux

Field, lab and analysis
Field will be planned in cave(s) in Norway, especially using GPR but possibly also using ERT methods pending on equipment availability. Cooperation with the EVOCAVE project is already established with some prospective GPR acquisitions carried out spring 2022 in 2 caves near Fauske. Other caves are under discussion. Cooperation with UB may also give the opportunity to participate to ERT/GPR field in France, pending resources and time.