Interpretation of geophysical data is complicated, and the inherent nonuniqueness of the problem has inspired many ways of thinking about field data sets.  Formal inversion techniques involve applying a rigorous approach to addressing nonuniqueness, and to handling noisy data. In addition, solving useful problems involves describing the Earth's subsurface with a great many parameters, so the mathematical systems that must be solved become very large, even for ordinary problems. Much of the research therefore draws upon techinques in applied mathematics for linear and non-linear solution of large optimization problems.

The benefits of working in this way have been proven by mineral exploration companies and earth science professionals. Yet there is a significant learning curve for professionals still working with geophysical information in traditional ways. This is why the UBC-GIF has instigated an outreach program with a mandate to provide accessibility, awareness, and understanding to all those interested in inversion of geophysical (or other similar) data.

Professional geoscientists interested in extracting as much information as possible from geophysical surveys need to know about rigorous inversion techniques. Therefore, all undergraduate students in geological engineering and geophysics at UBC are required to take applied geophysics courses which include aspects of formal inversion.  All these courses are listed on a general applied geophysics page, at the UBC Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences.


Here at GIF, we strive to provide:

  1. Awareness of inversion methods,
  2. Understanding about the capabilities of inversion, and
  3. Access to technology.

The primary focus for the UBC-GIF is research into theory, methodology and applications of geophysical inversion. As an academic group, we recognize the importance of education and interaction with industry and society. Therefore our outreach program exists to promote fundamental awareness and understanding about inversion, and to make inversion codes available to geoscientists in the public and private sectors.


  • Attendance and presentations at scientific conferences, conventions and trade shows
  • Interaction with third party distributors of ubc-gif modelling and inversion codes
  • The UBC-GIF website


  • Attendance and presentations at scientific conferences, conventions and trade shows.
  • Presentations and workshops on geophysical inversion aimed primarily at the exploration industry at major conferences all over the world.
  • Interaction with third party distributors of ubc-gif modelling and inversion codes.
  • Feedback and help for users via email.
  • Teaching inversion in undergraduate and graduate courses in UBC's Department of Earth and Ocean Science.
  • Development of the IAG: a text- and exercise-based CD-ROM for teaching and learning geophysical inversion. Educational versions of many modelling and inversion codes are included, as well as data sets and exercises to practice with the methods. Production and delivery free of charge to the geoscience community, the IAG (Inversion for Applied Geophysics) learning resource package. UBC-GIF has released it as a free download from flintbox, a global intellectual property exchange. See the IAG page for details.
  • Tutorials and case histories available on this website


We strive to create industry-ready codes as a result of our research. These codes are available through licensing. There are three types of licensing:

  1. Academic licensing to accredited academic institutions for reasearch or teaching purposes.
  2. Commercial licensing of modelling and inversion codes via third party distributors.
  3. Educational versions of codes with some restrictions on number of data points and mesh sizes.

More information can be found on the Licensing page of this website.