A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Geophysics

2017 Honorary Lecturer - Pacific South

Koya Suto

Terra Australis Geophysica
Brisbane, Australia

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We live in the 21st century. The satellites cruising around the earth help our daily communication. The spacecrafts travel interplanetary space to collect information. Radio telescopes watch birth and death of stars. We try to understand what happened in the galaxies millions of light years away. Yet we cannot see what is behind the wall next to us or what is under our feet.

Geophysics is a tool to “see” the invisible. Any physical phenomenon provides hints to geophysics: vibration, sound, mass, electric and magnetic properties, heat, radiation, and cosmic rays as much as our imagination could lead us. With a clear understanding of the phenomenon, we can predict what is in the invisible space. With appropriate instrumentation, we can prove it. With the wildest imagination, we can develop ways to “see the invisible.” Geophysicists study the natural phenomena to understand the system. Some geophysicists design instruments right for observing the phenomena and some geophysicists interpret the data to “see” the invisible. Geophysics is a fun subject. It offers you a lot of challenge and a lot of reward.

This presentation guides you around the fascinating world of geophysics.



Koya Suto received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exploration geophysics from Mining College, Akita University, and studied further at the University of Adelaide. Born in Japan, Suto first studied gravity, airborne magnetics, and radiometrics for geologic mapping and mineral exploration. He worked for the petroleum industry as a seismic geophysicist for 25 years.

Koya started Terra Australis Geophysica in 2003 to service the civil engineering and environmental industries with near-surface geophysical surveys using the surface wave seismic (MASW) method. Since then, he has presented a number of case histories of MASW surveys in international conferences.

He served as a Federal Executive of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG) for more than 20 years including as president in 2013–14. Through his involvement in ASEG and its international associates, he was awarded a Service Certificate from ASEG and Recognition of Merit from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists of Japan. Koya also was awarded an Honorary Membership of ASEG in 2010, an Honorary Membership of the Association of Geoscientists and Environmentalists of Serbia in 2015, and the Harold Mooney Award from the SEG Near Surface Technical Section in 2015.

Suto translated The Microtremor Survey Method by Prof Okada, published in 2003 by SEG, and Application Manual of Geophysical Methods to Engineering and Environmental Problems published in 2014 by EAGE.

Koya has served on the SEG Global Affairs Committee since 2005, and was chairman in 2014.


Date Location Host
15 February 2017 Makassar, Indonesia University of Hasanuddin Geophysical Soc.
17 February 2017 Semarang, Indonesia University of Diponegoro Geophysical Soc.
18 February 2017 Bandar Lampung, Indonesia SEG SC of Lampung University
20 February 2017 Jambi, Indonesia University of Jambi Student Chapter
21 February 2017 Bandar Seri Iskanda, Malaysia University of Technology Petronas (UTP)
25 February 2017 Bandung, Indonesia Institute of Technology Bandung Geophysical Society
with University of Padajadjaran Geophysical Society
28 February 2017 Bangkok, Thailand Kasetsart University Geophysical Society
13 March 2017 Auckland, New Zealand University of Auckland Geophysical Society
14 March 2017 Wellington, New Zealand Victoria University of Wellington
15 March 2017 Dunedin, New Zealand University of Otago Student Geophysical Society
8 May 2017 Hsinchu, Taiwan National Chiao Tung University
10 May 2017 Tainan, Taiwan Taiwan Conference
11 May 2017 Incheon City, Korea KSEG Conference
12 May 2017 Chonnan, Korea Chonnan University
15 May 2017 Sapporo, Japan Hokkaido University
16 May 2017 Fukuoa, Japan Kyushu University Geophysical Society
18 May 2017 Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan Nagoya University
19 May 2017 Tokyo, Japan SEGJ - Society of Exploration Geophysicists Japan
19 June 2017 Akita, Japan Akita University Geophysical Society
22 June 2017 Port Moseby, New Guinea University of Papua New Guinea
25 July 2017 Hobart, Australia University of Tasmania
23 Aug 2017 Canberra, Australia ASEG ACT Branch

SEG Honorary Lecturers
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