Companies may no longer have to choose between efficient mining and environmental damage thanks to recent advances in three-dimensional seismic mapping technology.
Dengliang Gao, an associate professor for West Virginia University’s Department of Geology and Geography, recently was awarded a grant from the South American company MPX to investigate the subsurface resource potential in El Molino, Colombia.
Using seismic attributes may enable the company to more precisely map subsurface geology, locate valuable resources such as oil and natural gas and extract them with minimal cost and environmental damage.
In the past few years, Gao’s research has been focused on developing and applying new 3D seismic attribute technologies to help investigate geology in the subsurface in general, and in particular to help energy companies to increase exploration success rates and to reduce economic risk while mitigating the environmental footprint.
Rocks and fluids — such as oil, gas, water and carbon dioxide — in the subsurface are not directly visible, so geophysicists use sound waves to detect them. By “listening” to and analyzing echoed sound waves from the substances under the ground, they can identify each one because echoed waves typically sound different when coming from different elements. Read More Here.