| Home Page | Contents | Index | Comments? |

Other Chapters

| Geology | Essays | Poetry | Adventure | Curmudgeon's Corner | Résumé |


It is difficult for me to describe, even after some 50 years in the field, just what is geophysics?

It is inaccurate to say the field studies the physics of the Earth because other planets and the Sun are included. Also, I fell into the field entirely by accident as described in Becoming a Geophysicist. Perhaps simply listing the sections of the American Geophysical Union will give you an idea of the breadth of the science:

Atmospheric Sciences



Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism


Ocean Sciences (I spent ten years in this area at Scripps and Woods Hole)

Planetary Sciences


Space Physics and Aeronomy

Tectonophysics (my own specialty)

Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology (my books also touch these areas)

Because of the fundamental relationship between geophysics and oil exploration, and the related job opportunities, a great many physicists and mathematicians have entered geophysics. In my limited experience, few of these have been able to grasp the underlying principles of space and time that are inherent in geology. That often leaves a great gap, and a mostly friendly competition, between geologists and geophysicists.

Conversely, the form of intelligence that provides a geologist with the requisite grasp of spatial and temporal relationships seems to only rarely give them the mathematical abilities so basic to physics. As a result, I have met but few individuals who crossed the disciplinary boundaries so essential to doing geophysical research.

What follows are some of the areas I have looked into. I would also hope that some of the thrill of adventure and discovery I have found in geophysics come through. A complete listing of my publications is given for those curious about what I have dabbled in .

I always enjoy hearing from old comrades, former students, and others who enjoy the earth. You can reach me via e-mail at:



Selected Geophysical Articles


Becoming A Geophysicist

Astrometric Project

Ferroelectricity in Ore Minerals

Possible Formation of the Guatemala Basin by the Impact of an Extraterrestrial Body

Monitoring leakage from underground storage tanks (UST) using spontaneous polarization (SP) method

Advancing Electrical Methods Of Geophysics