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WS16 Friday 03 June 2016
Title: Potential Fields and their Gradient Tensors in the Integrated Inversion of Geophysical Data - New Advances and Perspectives
Room: Stolz 2
Convenors: Maurizio Fedi (University of Naples Federico II)
Ed K. Biegert (Shell International Exploration and Production Inc)

Workshop description

The goal of this workshop is to bring together key technical experts from industry, contractors, and research institutions to discuss and explore how the gradient tensors of potential fields may improve an integrated inversion of geophysical data, with respect to standard magnetic and gravity data. We want to focus on the added economic value and technical utility of gravity and magnetic gradients to joint and cooperative inversion, including Electromagnetic, Gravity, Magnetic and Seismic data.

Please find a preliminary setup of the workshop programme here

In 2001 Biegert, Talwani, and Smit1 posed and discussed several questions related to the use of gravity gradients in pre-stack depth migration: Which gradients should we look at? Do gradients add information? Is that information useful? Should gradients be used directly in interpretation? Which gradients should be used? How much money can be saved by using gravity gradients?

With the increased use of high-resolution gravity and airborne magnetic data, and with huge datasets available, integrated interpretation workflows are required to handle gradient tensor data (gravity and magnetics) for hydrocarbon exploration and mineral prospecting. Many new algorithms exist or are proposed to interpret or invert multi-modality datasets. But how effective are they in practice?

Participants in this workshop will attempt to answer a new, difficult set of questions. How do we best interpret multiple geophysical data sets consisting of different modalities and scales? What is the role of inversion? Is inversion useful? Does it add technical utility? Can it add economic value? Do existing algorithms optimally use the data? How are geology and a priori information best taken into account?

Inverse methods are prevalent in geophysics. However, finding a solution to inverse problems is a difficult task due to the well-known non-uniqueness in the model space. Noise and insufficient number of measurements contribute greatly to these difficulties, but intrinsic ambiguity also occurs for any kind of geophysical data. Joint inversion of different geophysical data may potentially overcome the limitations of each method, combining them for a better definition of all the respective source-property models. It may directly take into account the cross-relations between the source properties in geophysics and petrophysics.

The utility of the joint inversion of gradient components can be illustrated by comparing the obtained source-models to those yielded by standalone inversion of a single tensor component or by gravity data. In order to put a proper perspective on the added value and utility of gradients, special focus will be also given to case histories showing real-world problems.

The workshop will cover topics involving: basic principles for integrated interpretation of Electromagnetic, Gravity, Magnetic and Seismic data; rock properties and their relationships (resistivity, density, magnetic susceptibility and seismic velocity); inverse modeling, and assessment of uncertainties.


1. Gravity gradients for derisking pre-stack depth migration, E.K. Biegert, M. Talwani, and D.J. Smit, paper IG-2, EAGE 63rd Conference and Technical Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11-15 June 2001.

*If you are interested in attending the workshop, make sure to register as soon as possible via the following webpage.


Workshop Programme

*A downloadable version can be found here

Session Foundation
09:00 Welcome, New Challenges for GGT in Integrated Interpretation/Inversion
09:10 WS16 A01 New Inversion Techniques for Potential Fields and their Gradients
M.S. Zhdanov* (TechnoImaging LLC)
09:35 WS16 A02 Rock Properties, Their Relationships and How They Can Be Used in Inversion
P. Dell'Aversana* (Eni S.p.A.)
10:00 WS16 A03 Inversion of Time-lapse Gravity Data for Reservoir Modeling
Y. Li* (Colorado School of Mines), J. Capriotti (Colorado School of Mines) & R. Krahenbuhl (Colorado School of Mines)
10:25 WS16 A04 Optimizing the Optimization by Relative Weighting of Data Types - Bayes or Tihkonov?
P.L. Smilde* (TERRASYS Geophysics), C. Mueller (TERRASYS Geophysics) & M.H. Krieger (TERRASYS Geophysics)
10:50 Coffee Break


Session Value                                                                            
11:10 Introduction A Sceptics View
11:20 WS16 B01 Comparing the Usefulness of Gravity Gradiometry and Vertical Gravity in Geophysical Inversion for Petroleum Exploration
C.T. Archer* (Reid Geophysics Ltd)

WS16 B02 Extracting the Value from Gravity Gradiometry Data, through Data Optimisation, Integration and Inversion
S. Bennett* (Tullow Oil), E. Rogers (Tullow Oil), J. Doherty (Tullow Oil) & J. Mongan (Tullow Oil)

11:40 WS16 B03 Inversion Needs in Exploration Studies
F. Coraggio* (Eni GEBA dep.), G. Gabbbriellini (Eni GEBA dep.) & P. Marchetti (Eni)
11:50 WS16 B04 Geological Detectability when Inverting Gravity Gradients
C.A. Murphy* (Bell Geospace Limited)
12:00 Lunch


Session Inversion Highlights
12:45 WS16 C01 Potential Modelling for Spherically Bounded Prisms
H. Holstein* (Aberystwyth University)
12:50 WS16 C02 Source Body Migration Imaging from Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry Demonstrated Using the SEAM Salt Body Model
J.R. Brewster* (Bell Geospace)
12:55 WS16 C03 The Improved Results Obtainable by Tensor Euler Deconvolution Depend on the Number of Data
M.A. Abbas* (South Valley University) & G. Florio (University Federico II)
13:00 WS16 C04 An Improved CDEXP Transformation of GGT for Imaging Gravity Sources
J.B. Baniamerian* (University of Tehran) & M.F. Fedi (University of Naples ‘Federico II’)
13:05 WS16 C05 Obtaining the Depth of Potential Field Sources
G.R.J. Cooper* (University of the Witwatersrand)
13:10 WS16 C06 3D Geologically Constrained Inversion on Unstructured Meshes for the Voisey's Bay Eastern Deeps Deposit
P.G. Lelièvre (Memorial University of Newfoundland) & C.G. Farquharson* (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
13:15 WS16 C07 Optimizing Surface Mapping of Elongated Geological Features from Full tensor Gravity Gradiometry
D.J. FitzGerald (Intrepid Geophysics), H. Holstein (University of Aberystwyth) & H. J. Gibson* (Intrepid Geophysics)
13:20 WS16 C08 Inversion of Potential Field Data for Contact Surface Geometry
P.G. Lelièvre (Memorial University of Newfoundland) & C.G. Farquharson* (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
13:25 WS16 C09 Layer Constrained Composite Modelling and Inversion of Gravity Data
V. Vandone* (ARESYS srl), F. Chiappa (ARESYS srl), P. Marchetti (Eni SpA), G. Bernasconi (Politecnico di Milano & ARESYS srl) & P. Dell'Aversana (Eni SpA)
13:30 WS16 C10 Non-linear Effects of the Gravity Field Tensor Invariants
V. Paoletti* (University of Naples Federico II), M.A. Abbas (South Valley University) & M. Fedi (University of Naples Federico II)
13:35 WS16 C11 Optimizing Trend Removal for the Inversion of Airborne Gravity Gradiometry Data: Example of the R.J. Smith Test Range
G. Pouliquen* (Geosoft Inc.), R.G. Ellis (Geosoft Inc.) & T. Pithawala (Geosoft Inc.)
13:40 WS16 C12 Integrated Inversion of Multiphysics Data through Geosteered Regularization
C. Scholl* (CGG Electro Magnetics (Germany) GmbH), J. Neumann (CGG Electro Magnetics (Germany) Gmbh), M.D. Watts (CGG Electromagnetics (Italy) Srl) & S.E. Hallinan (CGG Electromagnetics (Italy) Srl)
13:45 WS16 C13 Full Tensor Stochastic Inversion For Near-Surface Density Estimations
M. Zengerer* (Gondwana Geoscience)
13:50 Coffee break


Session Joint Inversion Highlights
14:10 WS16 D01 Practical Applications of Multiphysics and Joint Inversion for Resource Assessment
D. Colombo* (Saudi Aramco) & D. Rovetta (Saudi Aramco)  
14:15 WS16 D02 Joint Inversion of Gravity and Seismic Tomography Data for a Magmatic Massive Sulphide Exploration Example
P.G. Lelièvre (Memorial University of Newfoundland), A.E. Carter-McAuslan (Memorial University of Newfoundland) & C.G. Farquharson* (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
14:20 WS16 D03 Progress in Defining Deeper Realistic Geology Using AEM 2.5D Joint Inversion
J. Silic (Jovan Silic and Associates Pty Ltd), R. Paterson (Intrepid Geophysics), H.J. Gibson* (Intrepid Geophysics) & D.J. FitzGerald (Intrepid Geophysics)
14:25 WS16 D04 Locating the Advantage of Higher Resolution from Gravity Gradients
P.L. Smilde* (TERRASYS Geophysics), C. Mueller (TERRASYS Geophysics) & M.H. Krieger (TERRASYS Geophysics)  


Session Case History Highlights
14:30 WS16 E01 Potential Field Gradient Tensors Inversion Results in the Integrated Interpretation
S.V. Yalamanchili* (CGG Multi-Physics) & C. Cevallos (CGG Multi-Physics)
14:35 WS16 E02 Exploitation of Satellite Gravity Gradients for Regional Modelling
J. Ebbing* (Christian Albrechts University of Kiel), J. Bouman (Leibniz University Hannover) & R. Haagmans (ESA-ESTEC)
14:40 WS16 E03 Case Studies of Joint Interpretation of Airborne Gravity Gradiometer and Seismic Data
A.N. Christensen* (Nordic Geocience Pty. Ltd.)
14:45 WS16 E04 3D Airborne Gravity Gradient Data Integration for Exploration - Uganda
A. Price* (Total)
14:50 WS16 E05 Inversion of Public Domain Gravity Gradient Data in the Gulf of Mexico
I.N. MacLeod (Geosoft Inc.), G. Connard (Geosoft Inc.) & A. Johnson* (Geosoft Inc.)
14:55 WS16 E06 Gravimetry or Gravity Gradiometry - Which is the Correct Tool?
G.J. Barnes* (Bridgeporth Limited)
15:00 WS16 E07 Integrating Seismic, Potential Field and Electromagnetic Data for Offshore Exploration - From Regional Context to Prospect Scale
A. Lovatini (Schlumberger), M. Mantovani* (Schlumberger), I. Guerra (Schlumberger) & E. Tartaras (Schlumberger)
15:05 WS16 E08 Airborne Gravity Gradiometer Survey over the San Andreas Fault Drill Site
M. Talwani* (Rice University) & E. Biegert (Shell Oil Co.)
15:10 Coffee Break


Session Round-Robin Discussion Activity
15:30 Instructions
15:35 Discussion A: Is inversion useful? Can it match geology? Does it add technical and economic value? How?
15:55 Discussion B: How should we best interpret multiple geophysical data sets of different modalities and different scales?
16:15 Discussion C: How are geology and a priori information best taken into account?
16:35 Summary preparation
16:45 Report out and discussion
17:00 End