Near-Surface Geoscience

Course Description

This course covers the geological and geophysical concepts governing the near-surface. Methods for investigating and characterizing the near-surface such as remote sensing and surface geophysical methods are presented. The different measurements are archived and integrated in a geographical information system (GIS). The final integration reveals geological information about the near-surface and provides geophysical information for corrections in seismic data processing.

Course Objectives

The course introduces geomorphology as a concept to understand the geological and geophysical characteristics of the near-surface, enabling the students to extract structural and lithological information. This information can be used on one hand for the prediction of shallow drilling hazards and outlining deeper structures and on the other hand for the correction of near-surface effects in seismic data processing.

Course Outline

  1. Geomorphology and the near-surface
  2. Methods for investigation
  3. Near-surface characterization
  4. Impact of geomorphology on geophysical data
  5. Representation and integration in GIS
  6. Interpretation of near-surface geoscientific data

Participants’ Profile

Geophysicists and geologists who are working in exploration and are curious to understand the impact of the near-surface on subsurface geophysical data and who wish to understand what the surface geomorphology can tell them about subsurface structures.


Participants should have a basic knowledge of geophysics and geology.

About the Instructor

Andreas Laake is Geophysical Advisor at WesternGeco. He holds a diploma degree in physics and geology and a PhD degree in physics and geosciences from the University of Kiel, Germany. He held a research position at the Max-Planck-Institute for Hydrodynamic Research in Goettingen (Germany).

Andreas’ industrial career began in 1988 as a hydroacoustic scientist with Prakla-Seismos in Germany. At Geco-Prakla in 1993, he started the geophysical design work for single sensor seismic technology which is now known as Q-Land technology. Since 2002, with WesternGeco, he has worked on remote sensing techniques and their integration into the seismic and reservoir workflow. In cooperation with the European Space Agency he developed a technique for characterization and modelling of the near-surface by merging satellite data with geological and geophysical data, which allows the prediction of noise features and the generation of synthetic seismic data prior to seismic data acquisition. This technology is also integrated with geographic information system (GIS) software and reservoir modelling (Petrel).