Geophysics

Petroleum seismology (Liner)GEOP Recent research topics related to petroleum include outcrop, wireline and 3D seismic integration to understand local and regional stratigraphy and structure. We have particular interest in carbonate reservoirs represented by the Mississippian Boone and St. Joe exposed in NW Arkansas and drilled as unconventional oil reservoirs in NE Oklahoma and SE Kansas. Related topics are seismic expression of paleokarst, occurrence and origin of chert within carbonates, and quantitative interpretation of seismic amplitude and attribute data.
Near surface geophysics (Liner, Lamb) We undertake fundamental and applied research with multichannel seismic, conductivity and ground-penetrating radar equipment. Problems of interest range from shallow mapping of geological formation contacts and faults, to environmental studies for subsurface objects or contaminating fluids. The methods are also relevant to geomorphology and archeology.
Spatial cross correlation of dispersive surface waves (Lamb) We are interested in the development and application of new surface wave techniques. Dispersive surface waves are routinely used to estimate the subsurface shear-wave velocity distribution, at all length scales. In the well-known Spatial Autocorrelation (SPAC) method, dispersion information is gained from the correlation of seismic noise signals recorded on the vertical (or radial) components. Our research includes the cross-correlation between radial and vertical components of the wavefield in a spatial cross-correlation method that is an adaptation of SPAC. The addition of cross-correlation information increases the resolution and robustness of the phase velocity dispersion information.
Earthquake hazard mapping (Lamb)GEOP Our research interests in this field include the application of magnetic, gravity, and seismic techniques to investigate the geology and tectonics of the Pacific Northwest. The volcanic bedrock that underlies many of the basins in this region is well suited for imaging by potential field methods. Vegetation, recent deposits, and water conceal hazardous faults making surface mapping challenging. Anomalies in the Earths gravity and magnetic fields, caused by volcanic bedrock offsets, can be easily imaged using potential field techniques. We use these data from high-resolution geophysical surveys to map and characterize known and undiscovered faults. When combined with traditional surface geologic mapping and structural modeling, these geophysical results help delineate three-dimensional structure. This provides useful information to assess ground motion during earthquakes along with application to groundwater and geothermal energy resource modeling.