Definition: Geophysical Methods
Methods used to measure the physical properties of the earth
- Exploration geophysics is an applied branch of geophysics, which uses physical methods (such as seismic, gravitational, magnetic, electrical and electromagnetic) at the surface of the Earth to measure the physical properties of the subsurface, along with the anomalies in those properties. It is most often used to detect or infer the presence and position of economically useful geological deposits, such as ore minerals; fossil fuels and other hydrocarbons; geothermal reservoirs; and groundwater reservoirs.Exploration geophysics can be used to directly detect the target style of mineralization, via measuring its physical properties directly. For example, one may measure the density contrasts between iron ore and silicate wall rocks, or may measure the electrical conductivity contrast between conductive sulfide minerals and barren silicate minerals.