School of Earth and Environment

Adam Booth Dr Adam Booth

Lecturer: Exploration Geophysics

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 39743
Email address:
Room: 10.18d

Affiliation: Institute of Applied Geoscience


Geophysical survey holds the key to understanding the physical properties of the subsurface, and how they may evolve through time. I work with applications of near-surface geophysics - the range of the subsurface "in the zone of human interaction". I conduct a range of engineering and environmental surveys, but work primarily with snow, ice and material in the subglacial environment. I have undertaken seismic surveys at both poles to understand ice structure, and lead a NERC Urgency project (NE/R012334/1) to characterise the deformation of Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf in the aftermath of the 2017 iceberg calving event.

Elsewhere, I work on the NERC/FAPESP-funded Nordeste project to use ground penetrating radar methods in the investigation of subsurface biomass in Brazil's caatinga biome, and have initiated ecological applications of geophysics to study the habitats of burrowing mammals. This research was featured in the BBC's "Animals with Cameras" documentary. I have also contributed to a number of archaeological projects, notably in the Egyptian and Omani deserts, and at UK sites including Whitby Abbey, Raglan Castle and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.


2008 - PhD - Near Surface Geophysics (School of Geography, University of Leeds)

2003 - MSc - Exploration Geopysics (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds)

2002 - BSc - Geophysical Sciences (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds)


Fellow of the Geological Society of London; student activities coordinator on the committee of the Geological Society's Near Surface Geophysics Group.

Member of EAGE, SEG, AGU, ISAP

Research Interests

Key to much of my research is the transfer of geophysical practice across different geoscience disciplines - what can one branch of geophysics learn from practice in another? A good example is my use of seismic reflectivity (AVO) methods, commonly applied in the hydrocarbon industry, to characterise material in the subglacial environment. I am interested in any approach that improves the accuracy, and characterises the precision, of a geophysical interpretation, including multi-platform joint inversion strategies.

A sample of my past and present research projects is listed belowː

2017-2018 - NERC Urgency Grant NE/R012334/1 - Ice shelf response to large-scale iceberg calving (£65k).

2017-2021 - NERC Industrial CASE Studentship (NE/P009492/1) - Glaciological applications of seismic full waveform inversion (£88k).

2017 - INTERACT-TA - SNAP: Snow accumulation patterns across Hardangerjokulen ice cap (£3k).

2016-2019 - NERC/FAPESP (NE/N012550/1) - Nordeste: Understanding and Sustaining Brazilian Biome Resources. (£131k). Co-Investigator.

2016-2020 - KLIMAFORSK - EvoGLAC: Investigating the future evolution of Norwegian glaciers and hydrological impacts (£110k). Project Partner.

2012 - INTERACT-TA - Seismic assessment of Storglaciären Glacier (£4k).

2010-2011 - NERC (NE/H012869/1) - Seismic characterisation of basal conditions of Russell Glacier, West Greenland Ice Sheet (£521k). Project Partner.

Research Group - PhD students:

Siobhan Killingbeck - Subglacial Aquifers: Characterisation with geophysical methods. Project co-supervised by Phil Livermore and Jared West.

Alif Jelani - Wide-angle Seismic Reflection and Refraction Study of Seaward Dipping Reflector in Volcanic Passive Margins. Project co-supervised by Graham Stuart and Doug Angus.

Hardi Bin Saleh - Valhall Seismic Geomechanics: Case study of time-lapse and microseismic prediction from coupled flow-geomechanical models. Project led by Quentin Fisher.

Emma Pearce - Density assessment of ice masses using seismic Full Waveform Inversion. Project co-supervised by Graham Stuart, with NERC CASE support from Ian Jones at ION-GXT and partnership with BAS.

Luis Rees-Hughes - The buried coast: assessment and quantitative interpretation of paleo-coastlines. Project led by Natasha Barlow and co-supervised by Jared West, with NERC CASE support from RSK Geophysics.

Rebecca Schlegel - GPR investigations of subglacial processes on Rutford Ice Stream. Based at Swansea University; project led by Tavi Murray, co-supervised by Roger Clark and BAS.

Hannah Watts - Geophysical investigation of proglacial geomorphology; project led by Benny Reinardy, Stockholm University, and co-supervised by Bill Murphy.

I also supervise undergraduate students Saad Alqarni and Matt Nicholson, who are both working on GPR processing and interpretation algorithms.

Teaching Interests

I am involved with the delivery of MSc Exploration Geophysics, contributing to Seismic Fundamentals and Seismic Data Processing modules. I am also the manager of our Independent Research Project module, and convene the programme's External Advisory Board. I also teach Geophysical Methods on MSc Geophysics in Prospect Development, and lead the instruction of GPR methods on undergraduate/postgraduate fieldtrips.