Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Basic physics, basic geology.

Teaching Methods

In theoretical classes, subjects are introduced, discussed, and elaborated upon. At each class, a mini-test is proposed, whose solution contributes to the final grading. In theoretical-practical classes the students solve problems related to the previously lectured theoretical subjects.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this curricular unit the student must have sound knowledge on gravimetry, geomagnetism and seismology, on Earth and the planets and larger satellites of the Solar System. Such knowledge will be sufficient as a basis to begin graduate work in geophysics or planetary sciences; apply for internships in geophysical companies (in the specialties of gravimetry and magnetometry) or space agencies; teach subjects of geophysics and planetary sciences at all levels of pre-university education.

Work Placement(s)



1. Introduction. Physics of the Earth. Field theory. Introduction to fractal geometry.

2. Gravity. Geodesy and gravity field. Newton's laws. Gauss theorem. Laplace and Poisson equations. The geoid. Expansion of the gravitic potential. Satellites. Tides. Gravimetry: gravimeters, corrections, Bouguer anomaly, Bouguer density. Isostasy. Gravity in the Solar System.

3. Geomagnetism. Maxwell's laws. Field components. Main field. Expansion of the magnetic potential. Introduction to the study of nonlinear dynamic processes: chaos. Models of the main field. External field. Magnetometry. Local fields. Hysteresis and rock magnetism. Magnetism in the Solar System.

4. Seismology. Stress and strain. Elasticity: Hooke's law. Wave equation. Body waves: Huygens' and Snell's laws; Zöppritz equations. Surface waves. Seismometry. Magnitudes. Seismicity. Models. Intensity. Seismic prevention and prediction. Seismology in the Solar System.

Head Lecturer(s)

Eduardo Ivo Cruzes do Paço Ribeiro Alves

Assessment Methods

Mini Tests: 25.0%
Exam: 25.0%
Resolution Problems: 50.0%


Alonso, M. & Finn, E. J. (1972) – Física: um Curso Universitário. Trad. Port. Ed. Blücher, São Paulo.

Alves, E. I. (2004) – Elementos de Geofísica. Apontamentos policopiados de apoio às aulas da disciplina de Geofísica. DCT – FCTUC. Coimbra.

Alves, E. I. (2010) – Pequeno Atlas do Sistema Solar. Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.

Garland, G. D. (1971) – Introduction to Geophysics. Saunders. Philadelphia.

Lima, F. V. Q. C. R. (1998) – Introdução à Sismologia. Ed. Univ. Aveiro.

Lowrie, W. (1997) – Fundamentals of Geophysics. Cambridge Univ. Press.

Telford, W. M., Geldart, L. P. e Sheriff, R. E. (1993) - Applied Geophysics, 2ªed. Cambridge Univ. Press.