Multi-physics analysis: extracting the most from diverse datasets.

2021 1Q/2Q Distinguished Lecturer

Lucy MacGregor


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Understanding the sub-surface is important for many reasons, including resource management and hazard detection. Geophysicists can deploy a range of tools to probe the earth, measuring properties from velocity and density to resistivity and magnetization. However, often these diverse datasets are analyzed in isolation, or only combined in a qualitative, or semi-quantitative way. The goal of a multi-physics analysis approach is to quantitatively combine diverse datasets, utilizing the strengths in some to compensate for weaknesses in another, thereby improving the robustness with which sub-surface structure and properties can be constrained.

Recent advances in the multi-physics analysis have been focused on two main classes of challenge. The first concerns the determination of structure: seismic, whilst providing high-resolution images of structure and stratigraphy, in many situations, can struggle in areas of complex geology, such as around salt bodies, or beneath highly heterogeneous basalt layers. In this case, incorporating electromagnetic or gravity data, either in cooperative or joint inversion schemes, has proven extremely valuable in improving the image that is obtained.

In the second class of challenge, the goal is to understand sub-surface properties. Quantitative seismic reservoir characterization workflows can struggle to resolve fluid saturations, which are key to understanding prospectivity. Rock physics-driven multi-physics workflows incorporating electromagnetic data can resolve ambiguities inherent in a seismic-only analysis.

This presentation will provide an overview of multi-physics approaches and applications, illustrated using case studies.



Lucy MacGregor

Dr. Lucy MacGregor is a leading researcher in multi-physics analysis with particular expertise in the integration of electromagnetic methods into reservoir characterization workflows. She served as SEG Honorary Lecturer in Europe in 2011.

Lucy has a PhD from the University of Cambridge for research in the field of controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) methods and over 25 years’ experience in marine EM surveying and its application to the detection and characterization of fluids in the earth. Following her PhD, she was a Green Scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography working on marine electromagnetic methods, before returning to Cambridge as a Leverhulme Trust/Downing College research fellow.

In 2000 she moved to the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton as a NERC research fellow to continue her work, and took part in the first survey targeting CSEM at hydrocarbon reservoirs. In 2002, Lucy co-founded OHM and joined the company as CTO. She remained with the company, through its merger with Rock Solid Images, until December 2018, leading the company’s technical group which specialized in rock physics driven quantitative reservoir characterization and multi-physics analysis. Lucy co-founded Edinburgh Geoscience Advisors in 2019.


Please check back soon for lecture locations and times.

8801 S. Yale Ave. Suite 500
Tulsa, OK 74137
Phone: 918-497-5500
Email: [email protected]

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