Episode 190: The unique power of combining GPR and FWI

Anja Klotzsche discusses her Near-Surface Global Lecture, “Unlocking the potential of GPR for subsurface characterization by using full-waveform inversion.”

The heterogeneous near-surface consists of the complex interactions between rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms, which determine the availability of life-sustaining resources such as water. This environment has been increasingly exploited for human needs, such as water supply, to store our waste and food production. To assess the environmental risk associated with such exploitation and exploration, the near-surface must be investigated and characterized with high-resolution methods to enhance our understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical processes. 

In this conversation with host Andrew Geary, Anja describes the recent developments in FWI that have impacted how to apply GPR. She outlines a few of her favorite GPR applications, the impact of AI on GPR, and the role GPR and FWI can have in improving management decisions. Anja also shares the lightbulb moment when she realized her method was special. And why she changed her mind about hydrogeophysics and EM methods.

This episode will challenge you to consider GPR in a new way and, in so doing, put FWI in a new perspective as well.  

Seismic Soundoff · 190: The unique power of combining GPR and FWI

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Since 2021, Anja Klotzsche has been a professor in hydrogeophysics at the Agrosphere Institute of the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) and the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology of the University of Colonge.

Anja’s research focuses on developing and applying ground penetrating radar (GPR) and full-waveform inversion for various environments. She combines theoretical method developments with applications to solve geological, hydrogeological, and biogeological problems, including flow in porous media, peatland processes, agricultural monitoring, Mars-analog soils, and more, through both borehole and surface GPR. Anja has been active within the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, serving as Publications Program Leader and Global Vice Chair of the Near Surface Technical Section, and within the American Geophysical Union, serving as the Early Career and European Representative of the Near Surface Focus Group. She has received seven awards, including the first AGU Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award 2020. 

Anja earned her Ph.D. in Hydrogeophysics at the RWTH Aachen in cooperation with the FZJ, her master’s in applied Geophysics (joint master at TU Delft, ETH Zurich and RWTH Aachen), and her bachelor’s in geophysics at the TUBA Freiberg.


Seismic Soundoff explores the depth and usefulness of geophysics for the scientific community and the public. If you want to be the first to know about the next episode, please follow or subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Two of our favorites are Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Zach Bridges created original music for this show. This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at TreasureMint. The SEG podcast team is Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis. 

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