Electromagnetic Geophysics

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1GE057

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Earth Science A1F, Physics A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2 February 2022
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

180 credits including 80 credits in physics and mathematics, including The Earth's Potential Fields, 5 credits. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • Derive the differential equations governing electromagnetic induction in the Earth starting from Maxwell's equations.
  • Derive electromagnetic fields and their potentials owing to controlled sources (both galvanically and inductively coupled) and natural sources over a stratified Earth.
  • Develop least-squares estimates of transfer functions between electric and magnetic fields from experimental time-series data.
  • Describe and apply the fundamental properties of the impedance tensor and other transfer functions over an Earth of arbitrary dimension accounting for galvanic distortion.
  • Explain the principles of numerical methods like integral-equation, finite-difference and finite-element methods to solve forward problems in 2D and 3D.
  • Develop and apply methods to compute model sensitivities.
  • Describe and analyse instrumental effects on frequency- and time-domain electromagnetic data.
  • Make recommendations as to what electromagnetic technique is best suited for studying a given geological or hydrological target with respect to depth penetration and resolution.
  • Design electromagnetic field campaigns.
  • Analyse models computed from electromagnetic data for ambiguity in form of equivalence and suppression of model structures.


Introduction to Maxwell's equations. Reflection and refraction of plane waves. Potentials of electric and magnetic fields. Sources in unbounded media. Finite sources: magnetic and electric dipoles. Time-series analysis including least-squares estimates of transfer functions. Electromagnetic transfer functions and their properties. Distortion of electromagnetic fields and transfer functions. Numerical modeling: integral-equation, finite-difference or finite-element methods. Computation of sensitivities. Frequency-domain and time-domain electromagnetic methods and instrumentation. Geoelectric methods. Equivalence and suppression problems.


Lectures, home work assignments, problem solution and computer exercises.


Written examination (6 credits), homework assignments (2 credits), and oral presentation (2 credits).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.