All posts by Robert Verstandig

CRGC Annual General Meeting 2019 – Registrations are now open

The CRGC cordially invites our Industry Partners to register for the upcoming Annual General Meeting, to be held on Rottnest Island on November 28th–29th, 2019. The technical program will be released shortly.

Registrations are now open and can be made via the CRGC 2019 Annual General Meeting Registration page.

For any enquiries related to the Annual Meeting or registration, or if you are interested in finding out about our Industry Partner program, please email Nichole Sik, CRGC Administration.

We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s AGM.


Congratulations to our new Doctoral Graduates:

Dr. Mohammad Hadi Nourollah, supervised by A/Prof. Milovan Urosevic, was conferred on 5th of April 2019. Hadi’s thesis explores Sealing Potential of Shale Sequences Through Seismic Anistropy Analysis

Dr. Alexey Yurikov, supervised by Prof. Maxim Lebedev was conferred on 7th of June 2019. Alexey’s thesis explores Experimental and theoretical study of effects of varying hydration on elastic properties and microstructure of shales and sandstones

Dr. Julia Correa, supervised by Prof. Roman Pevzner, was conferred on 7th of June 2019. Julia’s thesis was titled Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Seismic Imaging and Reservoir Monitoring Applied to CO2 Geosequestration

Dr. Felix Menu, supervised by A/Prof. Milovan Urosevic received conferral on 5th of July 2019. His thesis title is Ore-Body Delineation Using Borehole Seismic Techniques for Hard Rock Exploration

Dr. Zubair Ahmed, supervised by Prof. Maxim Lebedev, was conferred 5th of July 2019. Zubair’s thesis explores Rock Characterization using Physical Methods on Powders

Dr. Dmitry Popik, supervised by Prof. Roman Pevzner was conferred 5th of July 2019. Dmitry’s thesis explores Advanced Analysis of Time-Lapse Seismic Data for CO2 Geosequestration Monitoring

Dr. Rebecca Tung, supervised by Dr. Andrew Squelch, was conferred on 2nd August 2019. Rebecca’s thesis is titled On the Onset of Hydrothermal Convection in Porous Media in the Presence of Creeping Faults: Numerical Stability Analysis and Geological Applications

CRGC congratulates all our doctoral graduates, their supervisors and panel members on this milestone achievement!

Student Awards

CRGC joint PhD student, Mr. Anton Egorov was awarded the 2019 Louis Cagniard Award for his poster, A feasibility study of time-lapse FWI on DAS VSP data acquired with permanent sources at EAGE 2019. The Louis Cagniard Award recognises the best poster presentation at the annual European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) Conference and Exhibition.

CRGC extends a huge congratulations to Anton Egorov and his co-authors Prof Andrej Bona, Prof Roman Pevzner, Dr Stanislav Glubokovskikh and Dr Vladimir Puzyrev on this achievement!

(L-R) Michael Pöppelreiter, EAGE President 2019; Anton Egorov, PhD Student, Exploration Geophysics, Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering; and Jean-Jacques Biteau, EAGE President 2018.

PhD student, Mrs. Snezana Petrovic, was awarded a Research Foundation Grant of $16,000 from the ASEG Research Foundation for her project Elemental Analysis Via Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation for Diamond Drilling. Project selection is made by a sub-committee of specialists on the basis of the project’s quality, relevance to either mineral or petroleum exploration and potential to impact on exploration technology or know-how.


Recent Geophysics Specialist software licence renewals for 2019/2020

The following software licences have recently been renewed for the 2019/20 period. These software applications are used extensively in both research and teaching areas within Exploration Geophyisics as well as other areas in Curtin Univeristy.

Donation, Grant and Education licenced software: DownUnder GeoSolutions “Insight” donation; Hampson Russell Software “HRS” donation; IHS “Kingdom” and “Harmony Enterprise” donation; Ikon Science “RokDoc” and “JiFi” donation; Schlumberger Western Geco “Vista” and “Omni” donation; Comsol “Multiphysics” education; Tensor “Modelvision” education; WASY “FEFlow” education; ALT “WellCAD” education.

Many thanks to all of our software vendors who continue to encourage and support the use of their specialised software packages within our Discipline.

PhD Student Arrivals

Welcome to PhD student, Ms. Pilar Di Martino

Pilar is a PhD Student from the Aberdeen-Curtin Alliance. This collaborative programme requires her to spend years 1 and 3 in the home institution (University of Aberdeen), and year 2 in the host Institution (Curtin University). Her year at Curtin will be supervised by Dr Stephanie Vialle and Prof Andrew Putnis. Her research will involve working on rock-physics to field characterisation of seismic attenuation from scattered wavefield. The aim is to explore the connection between seismic and rock properties and lay down the use of these parameters to develop new imaging techniques of heterogeneous sequences at field scale. She has a BSc in Geophysical Engineering (2013) from Universidad Simon Bolivar (Venezuela), where her thesis was on Analysis and interpretation of microseismic data—Pilot CO2  Storage (CCS) in the field of Rousse, France. She also holds a MSc in Geophysics (2017) from the University of Aberdeen (UK) where her project was on Analysis of azimuthal inverted volumes for fracture characterisation in Machar Field.

Pilar has experience working as a ‘Well Placement Engineer’ for Schlumberger for 2.5 years. The scope of the job was to optimise the position of horizontal wells into the reservoir using and analysing the geology of the field and the petrophysical measurements obtained while drilling. She also completed a short internship programs with TOTAL working on analysis and treatment of microseismic data, and with DUG performing seismic processing.

Pilar’s provisional thesis title is “Unconventional reservoir imaging and geological interpretation in porous, heterogeneous environment via integrated seismic, petrophysical and mineralogical techniques” and her interim Supervisor is Dr. Stephanie Vialle.

Welcome to PhD student, Mr. Roman Isaenkov

Roman graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University with a Masters degree in 2016. From 2014 he started work as a Junior Geophysicist in the Center of Seismic Data Analysis. His work was focused on processing very-high-resolution marine seismic data (conventional and deep-towed). He participated in a few marine expeditions in Barents, Kara, Laptev and Okhotsk seas as a Data Processing and Quality Analysis Specialist. His team developed a 3D marine very-high-resolution system for seismic exploration with the first experiment conducted in 2017.

In 2018, he had an internship at CSIRO, where he studied which parameters of CO2-saturated reservoir may be estimated from time-lapse seismic response using bunch of 1D-models generated in stochastic way.

Roman’s provisional thesis title is “Development of a semi-automated workflow for permanent seismic monitoring data analysis/integration based on statistical learning algorithms” and his interim Supervisor is Dr. Konstantin Tertyshnikov.


The CRGC welcomes two visiting researchers from Northwest University China

Dr. Hongyan Yu, Northwest University, China


Dr. Hongyan Yu is visiting Exploration Geophysics as a Visiting Researcher and is working with Prof. Maxim Lebedev in the fields of core flooding and CCS.

Hongyan is currently an assistant professor at Northwest University. She received her Master’s in 2009 and PhD in 2012 from China University of Petroleum, Beijing. Hongyan developed her research in geological and petrophysical reservoir Characterisation in unconventionals (shale, coal), CO2 geosequestration at pore-scale with X-ray micro-computed tomography.

Mr. Xiaolong Li, Northwest University, China

Mr. Xiaolong Li is visiting Exploration Geophysics as an occupational trainee. Xiaolong is working with Prof. Maxim Lebedev on researching the sandstone properties of the Ordos basin in China.

Xiaolong Li is currently a master at Northwest University. He received his bachelor’s in 2019 from Northwest University, Xi’an. Xiaolong developed his research in petrophysical reservoir characterisation in unconventionals (shale, coal), CO2 geosequestration at pore-scale with X-ray micro-computed tomography.

Seminar: Seismic attenuation, dispersion, and anisotropy in porous rocks: Mechanisms and Models

by Prof. Boris Gurevich, Professor, Exploration Geophysics, Curtin University; CSIRO

Thursday 15 August 2019, 11AM–12PM, ARRC Auditorium

ABSTRACT: Understanding and modeling of attenuation of elastic waves in fluid-saturated rocks is important for a range of geophysical technologies that utilise seismic, acoustic, or ultrasonic amplitudes. A major cause of elastic wave attenuation is viscous dissipation due to the flow of the pore fluid induced by the passing wave. Wave-induced fluid flow occurs as a passing wave creates local pressure gradients within the fluid phase and the resulting fluid flow is accompanied with internal friction until the pore pressure is equilibrated. The fluid flow can take place on various length scales: for example, from compliant fractures into the equant pores (so-called squirt flow), or between mesoscopic heterogeneities like fluid patches in partially saturated rocks. A common feature of these mechanisms is heterogeneity of the pore space, such as fractures, compliant grain contacts, or fluid patches. Using theoretical calculations and experimental data, we will explore how this heterogeneity affects attenuation, dispersion, and anisotropy of porous rocks. I will outline a consistent theoretical approach that quantifies these phenomena and discuss rigorous bounds for attenuation and dispersion.

Seminar: A general framework for anisotropic and wavefront moveout parameter analysis

by Mr. Hamish Wilson, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Earth Sciences – University of Queensland

Thursday 23 May 2019, 11AM – 12PM, ARRC Auditorium

ABSTRACT: Moveout and wavefront parameter analysis, correction, and stacking are important steps in any seismic processing workflow. Moveout and wavefront parameters are utilised to approximate traveltime curves which best approximate the moveout of a reflector with offset and midpoint displacement. The arithmetic mean along each final approximated curve is then stored in a master trace at each time sample in a process known as correction and stacking. Global optimisation using the semblance operator as an objective function is utilised to determine the parameter set that best approximates the reflection surface moveout in the data at each time sample. Typically approximations for moveout in offset direction such as the Normal Moveout (NMO) approximation and approximations for moveout in both offset and midpoint displacement directions such as the Common Relfection Surface (CRS) and nonhyperbolic Common Reflection Surface (NCRS) approximations assume that the data in the subsurface is isotropic. This assumption is often too simplistic for real-world problems as real seismic data is generally anisotropic. Moveout approximations such as the generalized moveout approximation (GMA) have been utilised in recent times as a better approximation when it comes to determining nonhyperbholic perturbations associated with anisotropy and lateral heterogeneity than the NMO approximation. Although the GMA approximation has provided far superior accuracy and the ability to delineate anisotropy in 2D seismic data. There is a limitation in that it has no dependence on midpoint displacement that is accounted for in the CRS and NCRS approximations. Conversely the CRS approximations do not have any parameters associated with anisotropy.

Other limitations associated with parameter analysis and stacking are moveout stretch, and amplitude variations with offset (AVO). Stretching is the phenomena of lengthening the dominant wavelength of the reflection impulse with increasing offset and decreasing zero-offset time. This due to nonparallelism of the local traveltimes away from the onset of each reflection impulse which is a limitation of various moveout approximations. Class IIP AVO anomalies which are associated with a polarity reversal in the amplitudes with offset are known to augment the location of the true optima in the parameter space leading to incorrect parameter optimisation. Thus far I have outlined three issues that need to be remedied in the parameter analysis, correction, and stacking steps of the seismic workflow. A further step that may be an issue is the computational effort required to optimise large numbers of parameter sets at each zero-offset time.

In this talk I provide a new frame work that aims to remedy each of these issues. I firstly introduce a new nonhyperbolic moveout and CRS operator that amalgamates the GMA and NCRS approximations together to provide enhanced accuracy at the cost of more parameters in the optimisation process. This new approximation is called the GMA-NCRS approximation, it has the added advantage of being reducible to the GMA and NCRS approximations with various parameter substitutions, like the GMA approximation it can also embed different approximation types again with different parameter substitutions. I introduce two ways of finding the optimal parameter sets for the GMA-NCRS approximation at each layer rather than each sample . The first technique is partially user driven with users picking a point on each reflection that is utilised to constrain the potential zero-offset time locations for each other moveout parameter for the reflection of interest. The second technique uses multimodal optimisation via a sequential niching technique based on reflection filtering and removal from the the data. Both techniques can be utilised in conjunction with each other. These techniques aim to reduce the computational cost by only optimising each layer instead of sample whilst allowing user control on the amount of data-driven optimisation and user-driven optimisation.

To fix the issue of optima augmentation via AVO anomalies I introduce an AVO-friendly semblance operator that offers higher resolution for AVO-friendly moveout parameter analysis then the well known avo-friendly AB semblance operator. To remove stretch and interfering events I introduce a stretch free distribution for the proposed GMA-NCRS operator as a way to remove stretch from around the onset of a reflection surface and post stretch-free filtering to remove interfering events.

BIOGRAPHY: Hamish Wilson received a BSc (2011) in geological sciences from the University of Queensland, followed by honors majoring in exploration geophysics (2013), where he investigated the use of super-virtual interferometry for the enhancement of first-break picks for improved refraction statics. He is a PhD candidate in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Queensland. Following his time as an undergraduate, he spent two years working full time as a geophysicist at Dayboro Geophysical, a seismic processing firm in Brisbane, Australia. In 2015, he started his PhD at the University of Queensland where he is investigating and developing techniques of moveout and velocity analysis to aid in the detection and interpretation of anisotropy. His research interests include methods of velocity analysis, semblance analysis, seismic processing methods, meta heuristic algorithms, machine learning, nonhyperbolic moveout analysis, anisotropy, common reflection surface stacking, moveout stretch removal, refraction statics, interferometry, and amplitude variation with offset methods.

Seminar: Seismic Tomographic Imaging: Applications to the Subduction Zone beneath Sumatra and the Shallow Crustal Structure in Java

by Dr. Sri Widiyantoro, Professor, Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia

Friday 10 May 2019, 11AM – 12PM, ARRC Auditorium

ABSTRACT: Seismic tomographic imaging has been successfully applied to improve P-wave velocity structure beneath Sumatra using the new data provided by the 2004–2005 Sumatra-Andaman great earthquake sequences and a non-linear approach. Nearly one million compressional phases from events within the Indonesian region have been used. These include the surface-reflected depth phases pP and pwP in order to increase the sampling of the upper-mantle structure, particularly below the back-arc regions. We have combined a high-resolution regional inversion with a low-resolution global inversion to minimise the mapping of distant aspherical mantle structure into the study region. The tomographic images indicate that the slab is folded at depth beneath northern Sumatra, exhibiting geometry similar to that of the volcanic arc and the trench at the surface. We interpret that this fold plays a major role in the segmentation of the Sumatra megathrust, and may impede rupture propagation in the region.

In addition, several applications of seismic tomographic imaging on a local scale in Java will also be presented. These include volcano tomography and the ambient noise tomography (ANT) of megacities, such as Jakarta and Bandung, which have tall buildings built on basins filled with poorly consolidated sediments. The ANT results provide an estimate of the thickness and shear velocity of the basin fill, which is critical to understanding seismic hazard because of the potential for amplification and resonance of seismic waves.

BIOGRAPHY: Sri Widiyantoro is a professor of seismology at ITB, Bandung, Indonesia, where he has spent his academic career since 1987. He conducted research and study visits at prestigious universities overseas, including MIT and ANU, where he finished his PhD program, and research institutions (e.g. Earthquake Research Institute, Tokyo University) to work with top scientists on collaborative research. His main research interest is in the field of seismology, particularly seismic tomographic imaging. His tomographic models were published in various journals, including top journals like Science and Nature. Alongside his work on large-scale seismological problems, he has engaged actively in consultancy on oil, gas, and geothermal explorations related work in Indonesia, so that he can bring a broad perspective to his science.

He has received recognition through many awards including the Doornbos Memorial Prize from IUGG, the Habibie Award from the Habibie Center, the Science and Technology Award from the Indonesian Toray Science Foundation, the Australian Alumni Award for Research and Innovation from the Embassy of Australia in Jakarta, and the Sarwono Award from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). He has been a Fellow of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences since 2011. He is currently Dean of Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, ITB (from 2011), and was President for the Indonesian Association of Geophysicists (2012-2014).