Pre-Conference Workshop | WS05   View all workshops

Why Bother with Geophysics? Adding Value Rather Than Wasting Time

Date: August 26, 2023

Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Location: Hilton London Metropole | London, United Kingdom

Presenters: Tim Archer and Susan Webb

Attendee Maximum: 25

20% of spaces are reserved for students and offered at a discounted rate.

Fees and Registration


A range of geophysical techniques exist for exploring the subsurface. But unless they are properly designed, geophysical surveys often provide inconclusive results and fail to add genuine value to commercial exploration programs. In this workshop and based on more than forty years of academic and industry experience, we investigate why geophysical surveys go wrong, briefly summarize available techniques and state-of-the-art, and demonstrate by means of real-world examples how thoughtful geophysics can greatly enhance technical and commercial project outcomes.

We consider the different approaches employed in seismic, gravity, magnetic and radiometric surveys and what is achievable through each method. Moreover, we will provide details on electrical and electromagnetic surveys and the various subsets, from electrical resistivity and induced polarization to ground penetrating radar. Survey design, data processing and interpretation and machine learning will all be considered, and best practices will be overviewed.

Attendees will receive certificates of participation. View all workshops.

About the Presenter


Tim Archer

Reid Geophysics

Tim Archer has worked as a commercial geophysicist for more than twenty-five years. He holds an Honours Degree in Geophysics from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Management Diploma from the University of Stellenbosch.

Tim worked for Anglo American from 1994 to 2001, mainly with their SPECTREM airborne electromagnetic system. From 2004 to 2014, Tim owned and ran a geophysical contracting business in the UK, specializing in near-surface hazard detection. In 2014, he joined Reid Geophysics, a company which he now owns and manages, as well as providing non-seismic geophysical consultancy to mineral and energy explorers worldwide.

Tim is an active member of EAGE, IAEG, PESGB and SEG. He is also a technical reviewer for Geophysical Prospecting and the Journal of Applied Geophysics.


Schedule (Preliminary)

Saturday, August 26

  • 9:00am - 9:30am: Introduction
    • Case studies: When geophysics goes wrong
    • What can we do?
  • 9:30am - 10:30am: Summary of geophysical methods (Part I)
    • Seismic
    • Gravity
    • Magnetic
    • Radiometric
  • 10:30am - 11:00am: Tea break
  • 11:00am - 12:00pm: Summary of geophysical methods (Part II)
    • Electrical
    • Self potential
    • Resistivity
    • Induced polarization
    • Electromagnetic
      • Frequency domain EM
      • Time domain EM
      • Ground penetrating radar
      • Particular technologies to watch
  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm – 1:45pm: Survey design
    • Exploration objectives
    • Physical properties
    • Geometrical properties
    • Survey resolution and noise considerations
    • Technical aspirations and commercial realities
  • 1:00pm – 1:45pm: Survey design
    • Exploration objectives
    • Physical properties
    • Geometrical properties
    • Survey resolution and noise considerations
    • Technical aspirations and commercial realities
  • 1:45pm - 2:45pm: Data processing and interpretation
    • Field processing and quality control
    • Advanced processing and quality control
    • Forward and inverse modelling
    • Geophysical interpretation
    • Integrated interpretation
  • 2:45pm - 3:30pm: Machine learning in geophysics
    • The good – best practice and state-of-the-art
    • The bad – technical disasters and people who should know better
    • The ugly – practical constraints to consider
  • 3:30pm - 4:00pm: Tea break
  • 4:00pm - 5:00pm: Pulling it all together
    • What to insist on
    • What to avoid
    • Ways to structure your exploration team
    • Maximizing value
    • The outlook for geophysics
    • Q&A


Early Deadline: June 30, 2023
Regular Deadline: August 11, 2023

  Early Regular
SEG Professional Member US$495 US$595
SEG Student Member US$145 US$195
Non-member US$595 US$695
All prices are in United States dollars (USD). SEG reserves the right to cancel this event should minimum attendance numbers not be met by June 30, 2023. All registrants will be given a full refund should SEG cancel the course. Cancellation policy, event photography, dietary restrictions, and more are detailed in the SEG Conference terms and conditions. A mandatory UK VAT is included in the fees. For questions about VAT please contact