Advances in Near-surface Seismology and Ground-pene-trating Radar, edited by R. D. Miller, J. H. Bradford, and
K. Holliger, Gephysical Developments Series no. 15, SEG,
2010, 487 pp., US $122
Two earthquakes near Canterbury, New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 resulted in significant damage, including
large areas of liquefaction around Christchurch city. Satellite
interferometry data collected after the second earthquake
show patterns of surface deformation broadly consistent with
simple fault motion, but with local effects of surface geology
superimposed. The earthquakes rekindled my interest in near-surface geophysics, wondering what geophysical techniques
might tell us about the near-surface geology and its likely
response to severe shaking.
I was pleased, therefore, when I was offered the chance
to review this recent SEG publication on advances in near-surface geophysics. The book is a high-quality production.
The diagrams and photos are clear and sharp and the text is
clean and easy to read. The articles are organized into four
sections: Reviews, Methodology, Integrative Approaches, and
Case Studies. The content of the articles is varied, offering
sufficient theory and detail to interest specialists in the field
as well as more applied material for those with a more casual
The articles in the Reviews section highlighted how advances in analysis of surface waves can provide exactly the
results that interest me—estimates of the physical properties of near-surface materials. The articles in the Methodology section were generally more theoretical than I needed for
my level of interest, but I was particularly interested in the
article on void detection by Sloan et al. as it is a problem I
struggled with several decades ago. They also provided useful
background information about ground penetrating radar, a
technology with which I am unfamiliar.
The articles in the Integrative Approaches and Case Studies sections were informative. Hunter et al.’s article on using
near-surface shear-wave velocities to derive maps of earthquake hazard was directly relevant to understanding the effects of the New Zealand earthquakes. Other articles describe
applications of SH-waves, crosshole tomography, GPR and
microtremors to problems in fields such as hydrogeology,
THE LEADING EDGE
fracturing, and lateral variations in subsurface structure and
This volume is an excellent production that provides a
thorough overview of research and applications in the field
of near-surface geophysics. It provided the information I was
looking for, and the diverse range of articles should appeal to
anyone with an interest in near-surface geology.
Wellington, New Zealand
Presentation Skills for Scientists a Practical Guide w/
DVD-ROM, by Edward Zanders and Lindsay Macleod,
ISBN 978-0-521-74103-3, 2010, US $36.99 (paperback,
As the title indicates—this little book, 63 pages and small format—presents a comprehensive list of dos and donts
when giving a scientific talk. Chapter 5, Controlling Nerves,
would be most useful for beginners and can be skipped by
experienced speakers—maybe. Even an experienced speaker
will learn some important points contained in the nine
chapters (Audience, Voice and Delivery to name just a few) of
this short volume. I found three of the most important points
are: know your audience; don’t make red circles with the laser
pointer; and limit the number of slides. For example, a talk of
10 minutes with a 5-minute Q-and-A period should have 7–9
slides. There is a handy table with guidelines for talks varying
from 10 minutes to a 60-minute business presentation. The
text is enlivened with a sprinkling of New Yorker jokes; an
enclosed DVD-ROM is the most useful part of this book.
Some how-to-tips are shown for powerpoint presentations
(slide background colors and font size) but more importantly
are the many video examples of speakers (actors) giving both
poor and excellent presentations. These range from attaching
the microphone to replying to questioners, both friendly and
not so friendly. I suspect that spending a few hours with this
publication would benefit anyone planning to give a talk.
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
Upgrade Your Membership On-site at the Annual Meeting!
SEG invites you to set your membership status apart and upgrade from Associate to Active
membership on-site at the Annual Meeting!
When you attend the 81st SEG Annual Meeting and International Exposition in San Antonio, stop
by the membership booth at the SEG Pavilion (located right next to BookMart) to speak to a
member services staff from the SEG Business Office and upgrade your membership.