Geophysical Simulation and Inversion (16w2695)


(University of British Columbia)

Adam Pidlisecky (University of Calgary)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Geophysical Simulation and Inversion" workshop in Banff from August 19 to August 21, 2016

Geophysical methods gather data remotely to enable insights into subsurface structure and processes (e.g. locating economic resources or monitoring environmental changes). The information derived from geophysical methods is of crucial importance in resource exploration (eg. oil and gas, minerals, geothermal), environmental remediation and monitoring and in geotechnical studies and the study of deep earth processes.

Interpretation of geophysical data requires a combination of numerical simulation and inversion. Numerical simulation allows researchers to test hypotheses by simulating the geophysical data that would arise from a known earth model. Inversion is a procedure for using data to directly estimate an image or model of the earth (this is similar to medical imaging, where one constructs an image of the body). The aim of inversion is to find a model (image) that is consistent with the observed data and other knowledge that might be available. Solving inverse problems requires many pieces to interact, including concepts from physics, numerical simulation and optimization. Increasingly geoscientists are tackling complex problems that require integration of multiple types of information in order to better characterize the subsurface. Currently, many of the sub-fields of geophysics are attempting to achieve this goal of data integration, however, they are developing simulation and inversion approaches, algorithms and supporting software in isolation. This isolation is a barrier to integration and leads to inefficiency in research advancement.

The objective of this meeting is to refine a framework that enables and encourages sustained cross-disciplinary communication, which is a necessary first step in integrated geophysical simulation research. This meeting will present a unique opportunity to bring together a diverse group of geophysical experts to summarize and synthesize several sub-fields of geophysical simulation and inversion research. The integration of geophysical sub-disciplines, supported by this framework, will enhance communication between disciplines and support the next-generation of integrated geophysical research.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).