Available student project - The gravitational and magnetic mapping of archeological sites, volcanoes, mineral and ore deposits, and aquifers

Research fields

  • Quantum Devices and Technology
  • Quantum Science and Applications

Project details

In this project, we  apply gravimetry to the mapping of interesting subterranean structures such as volcanoes, archeological sites, aquifers and other structures. Although gravity is a weak field, in some circumstances it is the only field that can be exploited to map subterranean structures. Volcanoes for example are a maze of  tunnels and fissures with time dependent fluid flows that give rise to measurable gravitational fields. Aquifers similarly rise and fall and exhibit measureable time dependent gravitational fields. Archeological structures where access is restricted or forbidden can be mapped through the gravitational signal produced by underground rooms and cavities.

The mathematical problem we have to deal with is the inversion problem. There is not always a unique mapping of a source to the partial information we may have on the measured fields that result from the source. The question then is how to constrain the problem efficiently through more measurements, through assumed symmetry or other information we may have to enable a unique mapping. The fields we can measure for the problems we are concerned with are the 3 components of the gravitational field, the 3 components of the magnetic field,  the five independent elements of the gravity gradient tensor, the five independent elements of the magnetic gradient tensor and the 3 independent elements of the scalar magnetic gradient tensor.

Project suitability

This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
  • 3rd year special project
  • PhB (2nd or 3rd year)
  • Honours project
  • Phd or Masters

Contact supervisor

Close, John profile
Head of Department
(02) 612 54390

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster