Near surface geophysics and hydrocarbon exploration
Access to high resolution knowledge about the Earth’s interior is a crucial issue in an increasing number of human activities, here including detection and exploitation of underground natural resources, natural hazards prevention, engineering applications. In a social and economic perspective, it is a topic strictly linked to the basic survival of an ever increasing global population.
Geophysics is the discipline that can provide the necessary subsurface information. To date, a large part of geophysical developments and activities has concentrated on hydrocarbon and mineral exploration and exploitation. However, the focus is now changing and water and natural heat sources are becoming increasingly important, as well as identification of potentially hazardous features (faults, sinkholes) and high resolution studies for geotechnical and engineering applications.
Geophysical methods are undergoing continuous advancements and improvements and newly developed theoretical, methodological and technological tools allow today highly accurate subsurface imaging and characterization. At the same time, these tools are useful for deciphering the local and regional tectonic setting, and therefore help to better understand the formation and evolution of natural resources . Consequently, these methods can be also used as predictive tools.
The PhD program dedicated to near surface geophysics and hydrocarbon exploration will focus on the state of the art geophysical developments and applications to image and characterize the underground .
Theoretical studies, methodological developments, and applications to synthetic and field cases are included. A non-exhaustive list of topics follows:
- Theoretical and lab studies, including numerical simulation;
- Airborne, land and waterborne surveys: instruments, data acquisition/processing, interpretation;
- Geophysics for the optimum exploitation of natural resources, also in connection with modeling of the reservoirs for enhanced extraction planning;
- Geophysics to monitor secondary effects of exploitation and engineering activities, such as aquifer interactions and microtremors.
- Geophysics as a predictive tool for discovering natural resources and hazards
Programs showing strong interaction with remote sensing, tectonics and structural geology are further encouraged.