Two UT Dallas Papers Honored by Geophysics Society

Doctoral Student's Paper Ranked Among Top 31 by Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Feb. 29, 2012

Two technical papers by researchers at the Center for Lithospheric Studies at UT Dallas have been ranked among the top 31 papers presented at the 2011 Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ annual meeting.

Xinfa Zhu

Doctoral student Xinfa Zhu

Geosciences student Xinfa Zhu’s paper “Comparison of Methods for Modeling Phase Variation with Angle” was presented as a poster talk at the society's 81st annual meeting held in San Antonio in September.

Zhu’s paper, co-authored with his professor, George McMechan, shared the recognition with another UT Dallas paper by geosciences Professor John Ferguson and his colleagues. The title of Ferguson's paper was “Hydrogeophysics and the Settlement of San Marcos Pueblo, N.M.: Investigations by the SAGE Geophysical Field Course.”

“This recognition affirms the international competitiveness of the geosciences graduate program and the high quality of the research being done. It is rare for a student to receive such recognition so early, so it is an important element in Xinfa’s career development,” McMechan said.

George McMechan

Professor George McMechan

The two papers were chosen from about 900 papers accepted at the conference. The meeting has been held by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) every year since its foundation in 1930. It is the world's largest oil, energy and mineral exposition, showcasing cutting-edge technology for use in exploration and associated industries.

“When we look for oil and gas, the most popular method is exploding dynamite to generate waves propagating into the earth, and using receivers on the surface to record the reflected waves. The amplitudes and phases of the reflections indicate different underground materials: rocks, oil or gas.

“This method – amplitude variation with angle – has been used for decades. My paper proposes a new way of looking at the data by studying the phase information, measuring the local waveform and its changes,” Zhu said.

"My paper proposes a new way of looking at the data by studying the phase information, measuring the local waveform and its changes.”

Xinfa Zhu,
geosciences doctoral student

The SEG executive committee has offered these technical presentations to its international Sections/Associated Societies, to which Zhu will have the opportunity to present his paper.

“My research is about developing new algorithms to better model the wave propagations in the earth, and ultimately looking for oil and gas by comparing the observed field data with our synthetic data. I write computer programs,” Zhu said.

Zhu is in his third year of doctoral study in exploration seismology at UT Dallas. His dissertation is on elastic inversion of phase variation with angle in wide-angle reflections. He served as the president of the UT Dallas Geophysical Society and SEG student chapter in 2011.


Media Contact: Amal Shafek, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
or Katherine Morales, 972-883-4321, kxm109320@utdallas.edu
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