Alex Becker

Alex Becker

Professor of GeoEngineering,
Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley



  • B.Eng. (Physics), McGill University 1958
  • M.Sc. (Physics), McGill University 1961
    • Thesis: Spontaneous Polarization Studies in Drill Holes
  • Ph.D. (Physics), McGill University 1964
    • Thesis: On the Determination of Glacial Depth


Professional and Scientific Affiliation

  • Member, Society of Exploration Geophysicists



  • 1981--- Professor of Mineral Engineering,
    University of California, Berkeley
    Faculty Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Nat. Lab.
    Research in airborne electromagnetic mapping.
    Development of subsurface EM imaging technology.
  • 1979-81 Director of Research,
    Questor Surveys Ltd.
    Redesign of the INPUT airborne electromagnetic system.
    Development of helicopter INPUT system.
    New methods of data enhancement and interpretation.
  • 1969-79 Professor,
    Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal
    Equipment for geophysical exploration in drill holes.
  • 1974-79 Director , Mineral Exploration Research Institute,
    Ecole Polytechnique and McGill University
    Supervised some 20 geoscientific research projects per year.
  • 1965-69 Research Scientist,
    Geological Survey of Canada
    Development of new Audio Magnetotelluric equipment.
    Data interpretation methods for airborne surveys.
  • 1964-65 Research Associate
    C.N.R.S., France
    Development of first AMT (Audio Magnetotelluric) equipment.
  • 1960-62 Geophysical Party Chief,
    McGill University, Arctic Institute of North America
    Gravity, shallow refraction and reflection seismic work in support of glaciological expeditions to northern regions.
  • 1956-58 Geophysical Party Chief,
    Canadian Syndicate
    • EM, magnetometer and gravity surveys for mineral exploration.


Refereed Publications
    (*) Denotes student co-author


"Toward A Probe for Velocity Measurement in Molten Metals at High Temperature,"(with,H.Hayashi*and J.W.Evans) Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B,Vol.30B,#4, pp.623-630, 1999

"The Physics of airborne EM Systems"(with H.F. Morrison and G.M Hoversten) Exploration Geophysics ,Vol.29, pp.97-102,1998

" A borehole-to surface electromagnetic survey " (with H.W.Tseng* et al.)

Geophysics ,v.63, No. 5,pp1565-1572, Sep-Oct 1998 "Crosswell Electromagnetic Tomography," ( with M.J. Wilt et al.), Geophysics 60,No.3 , pp.871-885, May- June 1995

"Audio Frequency Electromagnetic Tomography in 2-D" (with Q. Zhou*), Geophysics, Vol. 58, No. 4, pp. 482-495, April 1993

"Russian Airborne Geophysics and Remote Sensing," The Leading Edge. August 1993

"Evaluation of Terrain Effects in AEM Surveys Using the Boundary Element Method," (with G. Liu*), Geophysics Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 272-278, February 1992.

"Inversion of Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Data for Sea-Ice Keel Shape," (with G. Liu* and A. Kovacs), Geophysics, Vol. 56, No. 12, pp. l986-1991, December 1991.

"Spectral Analysis in Airborne Electromagnetics" (with D. Bartel*), Geophysics, Vol. 55, No. 10, pp. 1338-1346, Oct. 1990.

"Airborne Electromagnetics 1978-1988," (with A. R. Barringer and A. P. Annan), in Developments and Applications of Modern AEM Surveys," D. Fitterman ed. USGS Bull 1925, pp. 9-20, 1990.

"Two Dimensional Mapping of Sea-Ice Keels with Airborne Electromagnetics," (with G. Liu*), Geophysics, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 239-248, February 1990.

"Time Domain Electromagnetic Detection of a Hidden Target,"(withD.C. Bartel*), Geophysics, v. 53, no. 4, pp. 537-545, April 1988.

"Airborne Resistivity Mapping," IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, v. 36, no. 4, pp. 557-562, April 1988.

"Detection of Repetitive Electromagnetic Signals," (with G. Cheng), Electromagnetic Methods in Applied Geophysics, M. Nabighian ed., pp. 443-466, SEG, Tulsa, OK, 1988.

"Natural Field and VLF Tipper Interpretation,"(with V.F. Labson*), Geophysics, v.52, no. 12, pp. 1697-1707, December 1987.

"Airborne Electromagnetic Bathymetry(with R. Zollinger*, H.F. Morrison, and P.G. Lazenby), Geophysics, v. 52, no. 8, pp. 1127-1137, August 1987.

Geophysical Exploration with Audio Frequency Natural Magnetic Fields,"(with V.F. Labson*), H.F. Morrison and U. Conti, Geophysics, v. 50, no. 4, pp. 656-664, April 1985.

"Simplified Prediction of Transient Electromagnetic Response," (with R. de Carle and P.G. Lazenby), Geophysics, v. 49, no 7, pp. 913-197, July 1984.

"Automated Interpretation of Airborne Electromagnetic Data, (with G.T.DeMoully*), Geophysics, v. 49, no. 8, pp. 1301-1312, August 1984.

"Phase Compensating Filtering to Reduce Distortion Caused by In-aicraft Integrations," (with O.G. Jensen), Geophysics, v. 44, no. 5, pp. 1531-1540, September 1979.

"Airborne Electromagnetic Methods," invited paper, Exploration 1977, G.S.C./E.G. Report 31, pp. 1-12, 1979.

"Magnetic Losses in Lunar Materials," (with L.S. Collett), Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 41, pp. 139-142, 1978.

"VLF Mapping of Geological Structure," (with W.M. Telford and W.F. King*), G.S.C. Paper 76-25, pp. 1-13, 1977.

"Input AEM results from Project Pioneer, Manitoba," (with A.V. Dyck and L.S. Collett), Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 12, no. 6, pp. 971-981, 1975.

"8 Hz Magnetotelluric Prospecting," (with J.A. Slankis* and W.M. Telford), Geophysics, v. 37, no. 5, pp. 863-878, 1972.

"Scale Model study of Time Domain Electromagnetic Response of Tabular Conductors,"( with C. Gauvreau and L.S. Collett), C.I.M.M. Bulletin, pp.1-7, September, 1972.

"Secondary Fields of a Vertical Magnetic Dipole Above a Thin Horizontal Layer of Conductive Over-burden," with A.V. Dyck, G.S.C. Paper 71-18, pp. 1-17, 1971.

"Simulation of Time Domain Airborne Electromagnetic System Response," Geophysics, v. 34, no. 5, pp. 739-752, 1969.

"Telluric and Magnetotelluric Measurement at 8 Hz," (with J.A. Slankis*), T

rans.SME, v.24, no. 2, pp. 237-244, 1969. "Design Formulas for Electromagnetic Sensing Coils," Geoexploration, v. 5, pp.81-88, 1967.

"Spontaneous Polarization Studies," with W.M. Telford, Geophysical Prospecting, v. 13, no. 2, pp. 174-188, 1965.




"Magnetic Fields of AM Band Radio Broadcast Signals at the Richmond Field Station",(with W. Frangos*), LBNL report#42654,38pp. December 1998

"Subsurface Electromagnetic Measurements through Steel Casing" (with B. Wang*,K.H.Lee and M.Wilt) ,LBNL report#42375, November 1998

"Magnetic Detection Of Ferrofluid Injection Zones",(with S.E. Borglin,and G.Moridis) ,LBNL report#40127, March 1998

"Crosshole Electromagnetic Imaging for Reservoir Definition and Monitoring," (with M. J. Wilt, D. L. Alumbaugh, H. F. Morrison, K. H. Lee and M. Deszcz-Pan.) LBNL report #34734/UC-122, 43 pp. July 1993

"Overview of Russian Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Methods," Naval Postgraduate School Report #NPS-AW- 92-001, 12 pp. March 1992.

"Cross-Borehole" and "Surface-to-Borehole Electromagnetic Induction for Reservoir Characterization," (with M. J. Wilt, H. F. Morrison and K. H. Lee), DOE/LLNL report # DOE/BC/9l002253, 28 pp. August 1991.

"Detection of Brine Contamination in the 1 Brookhaven Oil Field with Airborne Electromagnetics," (with H.F. Morrison), Engineering Geoscience Report for EPA under contract #DW899931863-01/1, pp. 28, June 1987.

"Airborne Electromagnetic Sensing of Sea-Ice Thickness," with G. Liu ,Engineering Geoscience Report, for CRREL under contract #DACA 89-85-K-08, pp. 73, March 1987.

"Electromagnetic Sounding: Effect of Vertical Contacts," with M.J. Wilt and H.F.Morrison, Engineering Geoscience Report, for AMOCO Production Co. and ARCO Exploration and Technology Co., pp. 12, March 1987.

"Fracture Detection Using Subsurface Electromagnetic Techniques,"( with Q.Zhou, H.F. Morrison, H.E. Goldstein and K.H. Lee), Proceedings 28th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, I.W. Farmer ed., Tucson, AZ, pp.5-17, June 1987.

"Shielding of Electromagnetic Waves by Geokogical Structure" (with Q. Zhou) Engineering Geoscience Report for Lawrence Livermore Laboratory under Contract # LLNL-7174105, 51pp., March 1987.

"Fracture Detection using a Grounded Subsurface VED," (with Q. Zhou*, H.F.Morrison, N.E. Goldstein and K.H. Lee), LBL report #21985, August 1986.

"Electromagnetic Detection of Subsurface Voids," (with M. Wilt*), Final report, LLNL contract #7538105, November 1985.

"Electromagnetic Scale Modelling for the Detection of Fractures and Cavities,"(with S. Dallal*), Final report , LLNL contract #5315605, October 1985.

"Redefinition of the INPUT System," with P.G. Lazenby, Exploration Technology Development, V.G. Milne ed., Ontario Geological Survey,

Misc.,Paper 120, p. 5-16, December 1984.

"Data Analysis for Airborne Electromagnetic Bathymetry," (with R.D. Zollinger*and H.F. Morrison), NORDA, Technical Note #93, 1985.

"A Seismic Method for Average Ice Thickness," with E.R. Pounder and M.P. Langleben, D.R.T.E. Technical Note 71-14, pp. 43-59, 1971.

"A Portable Microvoltmeter for the Measurement of 8 c/s Telluric Currents," Proceedings of EEMTIC, Bonanza Press, Ottawa, 1967


Conference Proceedings


MORRISON,H.F.,BECKER,A.,and HOVERSTEN,G.M, 1998, PHYSICS OF AIRBORNE EM SYSTEMS Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts,pp.2012-2014.

BECKER,A.,WANG,B.*,LEE,K.H.,and WILT,M.,1997,SUBSURFACE ELECTROMAGNETIC MEASUREMENTS THROUGH CASING: 67th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys.,Expanded Abstracts,Sess.S.S.4

BECKER,A.,DAS*,K.K.,LEE,K.H. and MORRISON H.F., 1997, VALIDATION OF THE EM WAVEFIELD TRANSFORM, 59th Mtg. Eur. Assoc. Expl Geophys., Extended Abstracts

WILT,M., LEE,K.H.,BECKER,A.,SPIES,B.,and WANG,B.*,1996, CROSSHOLE EM IN STEEL-CASED BOREHOLES, Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts,pp.230-233


SENG*,H-W,LEE,K.H.,and BECKER,A.,1996, AN IMPROVED NUMERICAL TECHNIQUE FOR 3-D EM MODELING, Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts,pp.249-252 TSENG*,H-W.and BECKER,A., 1995, A BOREHOLE TO SURFACE EM SURVEY, 65th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, pp. 700-703.

BECKER,A., LEE,K.H.and WANG*, Z.,1994, SYSTEM DESIGN FOR ACQUISITION OF PRECISE ELECTROMAGNETIC DATA, 56th Mtg. Eur. Assoc. Expl Geophys., Extended Abstracts

LABSON, V.F., WRIGHT,W.L., PELLERIN,L., 1993, VERY EARLY TIME HELICOPTER SYSTEM,Int. Wkshp.on Airborne Electromagnetics, TucsonAZ



WILT,M., KEE,K.H., MORRISON,H.F.,BECKER,A.,1991, CROSS-BOREHOLE ELECTOMAGNETIC INDUCTION FOR RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION: 61st Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, pp. 456-459.

LIU*,G.and BECKER,A., 1990, EVALUATION OF TERRAIN EFFECTS IN AIRBORNE ELECTROMAGNETIC SURVEYS, 60th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, pp. 700-703.

BECKER, A.,1989, ELECTROMAGNETIC IMAGES OF THE SUBSURFACE, Can. Geop. Union, Ann. Mtg. Montreal, Can.

ZHOU*, Q., GOLDSTEIN, N. E. and BECKER, A., 1988, CROSSHOLE ELECTROMAGNETIC RESPONSES OF MULTIPLE THIN CONDUCTORS: 58th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts,Session:EM1.5.


WILT*, M. J., BECKER, A. and MORRISON, H. F., 1988, INTERPRETATION OF CENTRAL LOOP EM SOUNDS NEAR GEOLOGIC CONTACTS: 58th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:EM2.4

BARTEL*, D. C. and BECKER, A., 1987, SPECTRAL ANALYSIS IN AIRBORNE ELECTROMAGNETICS: 57th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:EM1.1.

LIU*, G. and BECKER, A., 1987, AIRBORNE ELECTROMAGNETIC SENSING OF SEA-ICE THICKNESS: 57th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:EM1.2.

BARTEL*, D. C. and BECKER, A., 1986, TIME-DOMAIN RESPONSE OF A THIN PLATE BENEATH OVERBURDEN: 56th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:MIN1.7. WILT*, M. J. and BECKER, A., 1986, EFFECTS OF VERTICAL CONTACTS ON TIME-DOMAIN ELECTROMAGNETIC SOUNDING: 56th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:MIN1.8.

LABSON*, V. F. and BECKER, A., 1985, INTERPRETATION OF TIPPER SURVEY DATA: 55th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:MIN2.6.

BECKER, A., MORRISON, H. F., ZOLLINGER,* R. and LAZENBY, P. G., 1984, AIRBORNE ELECTROMAGNETIC BATHYMETRY: 54th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:EM3.7.

KONINGS,M., LAZENBY,P.G.,and BECKER,A 1984, HELICOPTER INPUT: 46th Ann.Mtg. Eur. Assoc. Expl Geophys., Abstracts

BECKER, A. and MORRISON, H. F., 1984, COMPARISON OF NUMERICAL AND LABORATORY SCALE MODELS: 54th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:W2.1.

LABSON*, V. F., FRISCHKNECHT, F. C. and BECKER, A., 1984, A PORTABLE TENSOR MAGNETOTELLURIC RECEIVER DESIGN AND FIELD TEST: 54th Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Sess.:EM4.3.

LAZENBY, P. G., DE CARLE, R., LECHOW, W. and BECKER, A., 1983, COMPARATIVE INPUT SURVEYS: 53rd Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:TDEM.1.

DEMOULLY*, G. T. and BECKER, A., 1982, AUTOMATED INTERPRETATION OF AIRBORNE ELECTROMAGNETIC DATA: 52nd Annual Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, Session:M1.6.