Two UH Researcher's Presentations Ranked in Top 31 of 1,000 Papers at SEG

Two UH Researcher’s Presentations Ranked in Top 31 of 1,000 Papers at SEG
International Exposition and Annual Meeting Held in New Orleans

Jiannan Wang and Azie Sophia Aziz, doctoral students of the Allied Geophysical Lab (AGL) in the Department of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) at the University of Houston, were honored by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) as among the top 31 best papers out of 1,081 papers presented at the SEG 85th Annual Meeting in New Orleans in October.

The authors of top 31 papers have the opportunity to present their work at SEG international sections worldwide and associated societies. This is a very prestigious recognition and a testimony of the high quality of AGL research by the international geophysics community. The award provides visibility to the research programs at AGL.

The SEG International Exposition and Annual Meeting is a world-class event that brings together private companies, research institutions, and government agencies. The meeting features a technical program that addresses the most advanced developments, research discoveries, innovation and real-world problems in oil and gas, mining, civil engineering, archaeology and the environment.

Jiannan Wang

Jiannan WangPh.D. Student Jiannan Wang was recognized for his technical paper, "Inferring marine sediment type using chirp sonar data: Atlantis field, Gulf of Mexico.” The paper was co-authored with his Ph.D. advisor Dr. Robert Stewart. Sediment type is important for geohazard assessment and marine geology studies. Usually these data can only be acquired by coring, which is not only expensive and time consuming, but also sparsely distributed.

This paper infers the marine sediment type with a two-step procedure: First, an envelope-inversion is undertaken on chirp sonar data to build the acoustic impedance profile of the sub-bottom. Then, an empirical equation is used to retrieve the marine sediment characters such as mean-grain size and sediment type from inverted impedance profile. The field data test shows the resulting pseudo-coring agrees with real coring measurements nicely.

“Applying this method to the whole data set gives us the 3D sediment type volume of Atlantis field in Gulf of Mexico,” Jiannan said.

Azie Sophia Aziz

Azie Sophia AzizFollowing her lab counterpart, Azie Sophia Aziz was also chosen among the top 31 best technical papers. Her co-authors are Dr. Robert Stewart, Dr. Janok Bhattacharya of McMaster University and Mohammad Ullah of BP Americas. She presented “3D GPR characterization of sandy mouth bars in an outcrop reservoir analog: Cretaceous Ferron sandstone, southeast Utah.” Azie, a final-year Ph.D. student, has held various leadership positions with the SEG student chapter, Wavelets, and has been an SEG Foundation scholar.

“Thank you to SEG for the recognition and Chevron for the travel grant to attend the meeting. I am honored and humbled to be recognized for our research. It is very encouraging that our work caught the attention and this pushes us to work harder,” Azie said. “I gained and learned a lot from the Annual Meeting and geophysics community from all over the globe.”

Her research motivation is to build a 3D near-surface image using high-resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR). This is used to build an integrated Digital Solid Model (DSM) detailing the architectural geometries for petroleum reservoir modeling. Distributary mouth bars make excellent reservoirs because they have a high rate of deposition and associated porosity and permeability. The GPR images acquired in this study are not only capable of imaging the 3D architecture of individual unit bars, but are also capable of differentiating between various proximal mouth-bar facies: upper friction-dominated dune-scale cross beds and bar scale large foresets from lower inertia-dominated basal planar beds.