School of Geography, Geology and the Environment


Geophysics and Borehole research focuses on the physical properties of the Earth's lithosphere using a range of seismic and electromagnetic techniques. The overall aim of these studies is to determine the processes by which the Earth's lithosphere has evolved over time and how these processes shape the surface of the Earth at the present and in the near future.

We have theoretical and practical expertise in inverse methods and modelling, potential fields, regional seismology and interpretation. Its research is academically driven but has applications and ongoing collaborations in the hydrocarbons and environmental sectors. It has made major contributions to the understanding of the rifting of the continental lithosphere, particularly in Africa and its current research is focussed on the relationship between changes in upper mantle structure and surface elevation change in Scandinavia and Africa; the relationship between crustal structure and earthquakes in intraplate settings, the evolution of the oceanic lithosphere in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; and the applications of MT and EM data to determining the properties of the lithosphere and upper mantle.

The Group hosts SEIS-UK which is a node of the Natural Environment Research Council's Geophysical Equipment Facility. The facility supports the UK's geophysics community with equipment, data management facilities, training and expertise in land based passive and controlled source seismic experiments.

Borehole Group

Leicester's Borehole Research is internationally recognised for the measurement and interpretation of the physics and chemistry of rocks and fluids on a variety of scales. Through an international consortium International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), research staff provide major support and expertise in the fields of wireline logging, core-log integration and petrophysics on a variety of drilling platforms. They hold the contract to provide logging services and expertise worldwide to the IODP.

Petrophysics research at the industry-academia interface includes investigations of natural and synthetic hydrates and their potential as a geohazard, hydrocarbon reservoir characterisation, and the development of novel measurement and imaging techniques - including bio-inspired acoustics.

The Geophysics, Rock Physics and Borehole Research group's work is supported by the Natural Environment Research Council, NSF, the EU and ESF, the Geological Survey of Norway and the British Geological Survey and industry consortia. The results of this work are published in academic journals with the highest international reputations.

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