Whole Earth Geophysics: An Introductory Textbook for Geologists and Geophysicists

Prentice Hall
Robert J. Lillie  
Total pages
May 1998
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Whole Earth Geophysics: An Introductory Textbook for Geologists and Geophysicists
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This book is designed to introduce the principal geophysical phenomena and techniques—namely seismology, gravity, magnetism, and heat flow—to students whose primary training is in geology and who possess only a basic knowledge of physics. This text is appropriate for a variety of courses including Tectonics, Earthquake Seismology, Earthquake Geology, Reflection Seismology, and Gravity Interpretation, in addition to courses in Solid Earth Geophysics. Its abundant figures and exercises, combined with the straightforward, concise style of the text, put the essentials of geophysics well within reach of such readers.


  • Explains concepts by means of graphic illustrations, developing equations only when necessary and at a mathematical level that most geology students have mastered.
    • Reveals immediately how specific geophysical observations can be used to interpret structures and processes that occur within the Earth. Pg.___

  • Focuses on how geophysical techniques provide information on the internal structure and tectonic development of portions of the Earth. Pg.___
  • Reinforces students' grasp of plate tectonics—a framework fundamental to the study of the Earth. Pg.___
    • Conveys the fact that much of what is known about the lithosphere/asthenosphere system comes from specific geophysical observations. Pg.___

    • Provides a context for learning, allowing geophysical observations to relate to fundamental characteristics and discoveries about the Earth. Pg.___

  • Uses models to illustrate geophysical expressions, letting students start with a geological situation, then envision what geophysical observations across such a feature might look like. Pg.___
  • Trains students to compile and interpret geophysical aspects of a region of the Earth, and express their understanding of the region's crustal structure and tectonic evolution through writing. Pg.___
  • Features a wealth of relevant, interesting problem sets that reinforce the quantitative aspects of geophysics by asking students to work through numerical problems. Pg.___
    • Challenges students to visualize geophysical constraints on the Earth by drawing cross-sections that represent the structure of the lithosphere in different tectonic settings. Pg.___

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction.

 2. Plate Tectonics.

 3. Seismic Waves.

 4. Seismic Refraction Interpretation.

 5. Seismic Reflection: Acquisition, Processing and Waveform Analysis.

 6. Structural and Tectonic Interpretation of Seismic Reflection Profiles.

 7. Earthquake Seismology.

 8. Gravity and Isostasy.

 9. Magnetic Interpretation.

10. Heat Flow.

Appendix A: Sequenced Writing Assignment for Whole Earth Geophysics Course.

Appendix B: Units, Conversions, and Abbreviations.

Appendix C: Igneous Rocks: Classification, Properties of Magmas, and Tectonic Occurrence.

Appendix D: Answers to Selected Exercises.