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geophysics

geophysics, study of the structure, composition, and dynamic changes of the earth, its atmosphere, hydrosphere and magnetosphere, based on the principles of physics. The term was probably first used in Germany, where it appeared in scientific writings of the mid-19th cent. Geophysics, which embraces the concepts, data, and methods of various other sciences, is very broad in scope. For example, geology, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, and seismology all enter into geophysical studies, with many of them overlapping (e.g., meteorology and oceanography in the study of possible global warming). Most techniques for locating subsurface petroleum, mineral deposits, and water supplies are reliant upon applied geophysics, including the use of seismic and electrical measurements at shallow depths and gravimetric, magnetic, and radiometric surveys at ground stations and in airplanes. Information is then correlated with visible surface features, subsurface conditions are inferred, and boreholes are drilled to determine the extent and richness of promising areas. Geophysics also is used to understand the interactions of the atmosphere and hydrosphere, including how certain anomalies in the ocean's circulation affect the atmosphere. Magnetosphere studies in geophysics concentrate on the magnetic field around the earth. Other geophysical studies are more specific, i.e. selenophysics, or the physics of the moon. Recent flyby spacecraft have accumulated extensive physical data, allowing geophysicists to theorize, by analogy to geophysical earth studies, about the underlying structures, atmospheres, and magnetospheres of other planets and satellites in the solar system.

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geophysics

ge·o·phys·ics / ˌjēōˈfiziks/ • pl. n. [treated as sing.] the physics of the earth. DERIVATIVES: ge·o·phys·i·cal / -ˈfizikəl/ adj. ge·o·phys·i·cist / -ˈfizisist/ n.

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geophysics

geophysics Study of the characteristic physical properties of the Earth as a whole system. It uses parts of chemistry, geology, astronomy, seismology, meteorology, and many other disciplines. From the study of seismic waves, geophysicists deduced the Earth's interior structure.

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geophysics

geophysics The science concerned with all aspects of the physical properties and processes of the Earth and planetary bodies and their interpretation, including, for example, seismology, gravity, magnetism, heat flow, and geochronology.

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Geophysics

Geophysics

3119 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to upper-division students working on a degree in geophysical engineering.
Title of Award: Ralph W. Baird Scholarship Area, Field, or Subject: Engineering; Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 each year. Funds Available: Stipends range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to juniors and seniors working on a degree in geophysical engineering. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year.

3120 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in studying applied geophysics in Colorado.
Title of Award: Denver Geophysical Society Scholarships Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 or more each year. Funds Available: The stipend ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Preference is given to students at Colorado School of Mines; if no qualified students from that school apply, students at other colleges and universities in Colorado are considered. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by the Denver Geophysical Society.

3121 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students at universities in the United States and Canada who are interested in studying applied geophysics.
Title of Award: Excel Geophysics Scholarship Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 each year. Funds Available: Stipends range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field at a university in the United States or Canada. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by Excel Geophysics.

3122 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students from Alaska who are interested in studying applied geophysics.
Title of Award: Geophysical Society of Alaska Scholarship Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 each year. Funds Available: The stipend ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. They must be residents of Alaska or a student at a college or university in the state. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by the Geophysical Society of Alaska.

3123 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in studying applied geophysics in Texas.
Title of Award: Geophysical Society of Houston Scholarships Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 or more each year. Funds Available: The stipend ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Preference is given to students at schools in Houston, Texas; if no qualified students from that area apply, students at other colleges and universities in Texas are considered. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by the Geophysical Society of Houston.

3124 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in studying applied geophysics in Oklahoma.
Title of Award: Geophysical Society of Oklahoma City Scholarship Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 each year. Funds Available: Stipends range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to attend a college or university in Oklahoma to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by the Geophysical Society of Oklahoma City.

3125 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students from Oklahoma who are interested in studying applied geophysics.
Title of Award: Geophysical Society of Tulsa Scholarships Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 or more each year. Funds Available: Stipends range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. They must be residents of Oklahoma or students at a college or university in the state. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by the Geophysical Society of Tulsa.

3126 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in studying applied geophysics in Texas.
Title of Award: GSH/Carlton-Farren Scholarship Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 each year. Funds Available: The stipend ranges from $5,000 to $6,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Preference is given to students at schools in Houston, Texas; if no qualified students from that area apply, students at other colleges and universities in Texas are considered. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by the Geophysical Society of Houston (GSH).

3127 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the field of applied geophysics related to mining or electrical methods.
Title of Award: G.W. Hohmann Scholarships Area, Field, or Subject: Business; Geophysics; Mining Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 2 each year: 1 for an undergraduate and 1 for a graduate student. Funds Available: The stipend is $3,000 per year for graduate students or $1,000 per year for undergraduates. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics with an emphasis on mining or electrical methods. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year.

3128 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to women undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the field of applied geophysics.
Title of Award: Barbara McBride Scholarship Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 each year. Funds Available: The stipend ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to women who are 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, or 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year.

3129 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the field of applied geophysics.
Title of Award: SEG Scholarship Program Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: Varies each year; recently, 70 renewals and 66 new scholarships were awarded. The total value of the scholarships was $268,100. Funds Available: The stipends generally range from $500 to $14,000 per year and average $1,500 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Some of the scholarships are set aside for students at recognized colleges or universities in countries outside of the United States. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program includes a number of named scholarships; among them are the Donald R. Allen Memorial Scholarship, the Ted Born Memorial Scholarship, the Michael Forrest Scholarship, the Jim and Ruth Harrison Scholarship, the Jene and Marvin Hewitt Scholarship, the Fred Hilterman Scholarship, the Landmark Graphics Scholarship, the Permian Basic Geophysical Society Scholarship, the Schlumberger Scholarship, the WesternGeco Scholarship, the WesternGeco/Henry Salvatori Scholarship, and the David Worthington Scholarship.

3130 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in studying applied geophysics.
Title of Award: Shell Oil International Scholarships Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 or more each year. Funds Available: Stipends range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics or a closely-related field; preference is given to undergraduates. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year. Additional Information: This program is sponsored by Shell Oil International.

3131 ■ SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS

Attn: SEG Foundation
8801 South Yale, Suite 500
P.O. Box 702740
Tulsa, OK 74170-2740
Tel: (918)497-5513
Fax: (918)497-5557
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://seg.org/business/foundation/scholarships/index.shtml
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the field of applied geophysics.
Title of Award: Veritas DGC Scholarship Area, Field, or Subject: Geophysics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: 1 each year. Funds Available: The stipend ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 academic year; may be renewable, based on scholastic standing, availability of funds, and continuance of a course of study leading to a career in applied geophysics.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) high school students planning to enter college in the fall, and 2) undergraduate or graduate students whose grades are above average. Applicants must intend to work on a degree directed toward a career in applied geophysics. Along with their application, they must submit a 150-word essay on how they plan to use geophysics in their future. Financial need is not considered in the selection process. Deadline for Receipt: January of each year.

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"Geophysics." College Blue Book. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Geophysics." College Blue Book. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-and-education-magazines/geophysics

"Geophysics." College Blue Book. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-and-education-magazines/geophysics

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Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

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Geophysics

Geophysics

Geophysics is the study of Earths physical character, including the solid planet, the atmosphere, and bodies of water. Geophysical investigations often draw upon information and techniques developed in scientific disciplines such as physics, geology, and astronomy. Major areas of modern geophysical research include seismology, volcanology and geo-thermal studies, tectonics, geomagnetism, geodesy, hydrology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, planetary science, and mineral physics.

Geophysics has many practical applications. Some seismologists, for example, help to explore for new petroleum reservoirs, monitor nuclear weapon testing by other countries, and better understand the structure and stratigraphy of important aquifers. Others provide the information necessary to design earthquake-resistant buildings and determine the risk posed by future earthquakes. Physical oceanographers monitor changes in ocean temperature that give rise to El Nino and La Nina phenomena, resulting in better long-term weather forecasts, and atmospheric physicists study the conditions that can give rise to lightning strikes. Hydrologists study the flow of surface water and groundwater, including the conditions that are likely to produce destructive floods.

Aristotle (384322 BC) performed some of the first known geophysical investigations and published his findings in a work entitled Meteorologica. That work addressed such modern topics as weather, earthquakes, the oceans, tides, the stars, and meteors. By the first century BC, Chinese investigators had developed a simple device for recording earthquakes and their points of origin. However, little additional progress was made in the field of geophysics until the fifteenth century AD, when Leonardo da Vinci (14521519) took up the study of gravitational attraction and wave propagation.

The 300 years following da Vincis death were marked by steady advances in the understanding of geophysical phenomena such as magnetism, gravity, and earthquakes. Most of these investigations were concerned only with what could be observed with the senses. But starting in the nineteenth century, scientists began to develop much more sophisticated techniques for geophysical observation.

Seismology is a branch of geophysics that draws on the physics of wave propagation to study earthquakes and determine the physical characteristics of Earths interior. Seismic wave velocity is proportional to rock density. Therefore, seismologists can infer the composition and structure of Earths interior by calculating the velocity of seismic waves from distant earthquakes. Seismic tomography uses computer analysis of seismic wave velocities to visualize structures within Earth and produce images that are much the same as medical CAT scans of the human body.

Seismologists can also generate seismic waves by using explosions or vibrating devices. Specialized seismometers known as geophones record the arrival of artificially created seismic waves, some of which are reflected back to Earths surface when they reach boundaries between different rock types. The reflected waves can help to identify areas likely to contain undiscovered petroleum reserves and locate faults that may generate future earthquakes. Like earthquake seismologists, exploration seismologists can use three-dimensional data collection and computer processing techniques to produce detailed images of rocks that are otherwise inaccessible to humans.

Several types of energy produced by Earths interior vary from place to place. This variation, called a potential field, is a characteristic of magnetism, gravity, temperature, and electrical conductivity. Geophysicists measure potential fields to learn about the distribution, composition, and physical state of rocks beneath Earths surface. Because the gravitational field varies with changes in Earths density from place to place, for example, geophysicists can use gravity measurements to map variations in rock composition and locate faults not visible on Earths surface. Electrical and magnetic methods can be used to explore for metallic mineral deposits. Studies of variations in Earths magnetic field through time are fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics.

Experimental geophysicists attempt to reproduce the heat and pressure present in Earths interior to determine how rocks and minerals behave under extreme conditions. Diamond anvils, for example, can generate pressures in the laboratory that equal or exceed any in Earths interior.

See also Earthquake; Earths magnetic field; Earths rotation; Global warming; Plate tectonics.

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Geophysics

Geophysics

Geophysics is the study of Earth's physical character, including the solid planet , the atmosphere, and bodies of water . Geophysical investigations, therefore, often draw upon information and techniques developed in scientific disciplines such as physics , geology , and astronomy . Major areas of modern geophysical research include seismology, volcanology and geothermal studies, tectonics , geomagnetism, geodesy, hydrology , oceanography , atmospheric sciences, planetary science, and mineral physics.

Geophysics has many practical applications. Some seismologists, for example, help to explore for new petroleum reservoirs, monitor nuclear weapon testing by other countries, and better understand the structure and stratigraphy of important aquifers. Others provide the information necessary to design earthquake-resistant buildings and determine the risk posed by future earthquakes. Physical oceanographers monitor changes in ocean temperature that give rise to El Niño and La Niña phenomena, resulting in better long-term weather forecasts, and atmospheric physicists study the conditions that can give rise to lightning strikes. Hydrologists study the flow of surface water and groundwater , including the conditions that are likely to produce destructive floods.

Aristotle (384–322 b.c.) performed some of the first known geophysical investigations and published his findings in a work entitled Meteorologica. That work addressed such modern topics as weather, earthquakes, the oceans, tides , the stars, and meteors. By the first century B.C., Chinese investigators had developed a simple device for recording earthquakes and their points of origin. However, little additional progress was made in the field of geophysics until the fifteenth century a.d., when Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) took up the study of gravitational attraction and wave propagation.

The 300 years following da Vinci's death were marked by steady advances in the understanding of geophysical phenomena such as magnetism , gravity, and earthquakes. Most of these investigations were concerned only with what could be observed with the senses. But starting in the nineteenth century, scientists began to develop much more sophisticated techniques for geophysical observation.

Seismology is a branch of geophysics that draws on the physics of wave propagation to study earthquakes and determine the physical characteristics of Earth's interior . Seismic wave velocity is proportional to rock density . Therefore, seismologists can infer the composition and structure of Earth's interior by calculating the velocity of seismic waves from distant earthquakes. Seismic tomography uses computer analysis of seismic wave velocities to visualize structures within Earth and produce images that are much the same as medical CAT scans of the human body.

Seismologists can also generate seismic waves by using explosions or vibrating devices. Specialized seismometers known as geophones record the arrival of artificially created seismic waves, some of which are reflected back to Earth's surface when they reach boundaries between different rock types. The reflected waves can help to identify areas likely to contain undiscovered petroleum reserves and locate faults that may generate future earthquakes. Like earthquake seismologists, exploration seismologists can use three-dimensional data collection and computer processing techniques to produce detailed images of rocks that are otherwise inaccessible to humans.

Several types of energy produced by Earth's interior vary from place to place. This variation, called a potential field, is a characteristic of magnetism, gravity, temperature, and electrical conductivity . Geophysicists measure potential fields to learn about the distribution, composition, and physical state of rocks beneath Earth's surface. Because the gravitational field varies with changes in Earth's density from place to place, for example, geophysicists can use gravity measurements to map variations in rock composition and locate faults. Studies of variations in Earth's magnetic field through time are fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics .

Experimental geophysicists attempt to reproduce the heat and pressure present in Earth's interior to determine how rocks and minerals behave under extreme conditions. Diamond anvils, for example, can generate pressures in the laboratory that equal or exceed any in Earth's interior.

See also Earthquake; Earth's magnetic field; Earth's rotation; Global warming; Plate tectonics.

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"Geophysics." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Geophysics." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geophysics-0

"Geophysics." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geophysics-0

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Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

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American Psychological Association

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Notes:
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