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Geophysics

In this broad field three main research projects are under way in the University of Gothenburg.

The study of active volcanoes leads to a better understanding of how magmatic systems function and this helps to predict volcanic eruptions. Eruptions can have devastating consequences for the local population who can be affected by pyroclastic or lava flows and ash, which can also cause problems for air traffic as the whole of Europe experienced in 2010.

Post-glacial clays which were deposited in salt water have much higher salt contents in pore water than fresh water deposits. When such marine clays are uplifted above sea level, the salt begins to be washed out by rain, decreasing its coherence. Eventually it fails, leading to landslides as seen recently in Munkedal. Shallow geophysical methods are well-suited to assess the salt content of clays and the possible risk of landslides, particularly in the Swedish west coast where many landslides have occurred. This is the subject of ongoing research which will be used in risk assessment and infrastructure planning.
The study of meteortite impact craters requires a multidisciplinary aproach including geophysics, geochemistry and geology, which together can give a complete picture of these structure and how they formed. Geophysics provides information on the structures from near-surface down to 2 kilometers. Measurements of gravity, rock magnetism and deep seismic reflection profiles are under way in two well-known Swedish structures, Lockne (20 km south of Östersund) and Siljan. The results will be used to motivate our participation in the Swedish deep-drilling project (www.sddp.se).

For further information please contact Erik Sturkell.

 

Photo:

The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull on 21st April, 2010. The ash cloud spread all over Europe and prevented 100 000 aircraft flights, stranding about seven million people.

Page Manager: Robert Karlsson|Last update: 10/7/2010
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