87: Exploring a seismic alternative and its role for a renewable future

Staying up to date on the latest techniques and technology is a key part of being a geophysicist. In this episode, Patricia de Lugão provides a helpful analysis of the benefits and uses of magnetotellurics (MT), based on her upcoming 2020 Honorary Lecturer (Latin America) tour called “Environment-friendly exploration using magnetotellurics.”

Seismic Soundoff · 87: Exploring a seismic alternative and its role for a renewable future

Patricia highlights the role of MT in geophysics and mining, discusses the advantages of this method over seismic, and spotlights how MT is ready to play a major role in renewable energy. If you are a student considering your specialization, early-career wanting to stay up to date on the latest techniques, or simply like to know more about a promising tool for the future, then push play on this episode.

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Patricia de Lugão received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental engineering and water resources from the University of South Carolina in 1988, a master’s degree in geophysics from the Observatório Nacional in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Utah in 1997. At Observatório Nacional, she worked with Sergio Fontes on the acquisition, processing, and modeling of magnetotelluric data from the Recôncavo Basin, Brazil. During her Ph.D. studies at the University of Utah, de Lugão had the good fortune to work with Phil Wannamaker and Michael Zhdanov on the development of modeling and inversion algorithms for magnetotellurics.

After her Ph.D., de Lugão worked in the research department at Western Atlas in Houston with Kurt-Martin Strack, where she applied her knowledge in modeling and inversion to the development of algorithms for array borehole tools. In the Geosignal division of Western Atlas, Patricia worked with Lee Bell on two- and three-dimensional refraction tomography techniques for statics correction and initial velocity model for prestack depth migration of seismic data from the foothills of South America to the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2000, de Lugão moved to Brazil and accepted a position with Landmark, working with the support group for the interpretation of seismic data, a shift from her previous work. In 2003, de Lugão founded Strataimage Consultoria Ltda, foreseeing an interest in the new marine electromagnetic techniques that were being developed. From 2003 to 2006, Strataimage brought to Brazil companies such as AGO (marine controlled-source electromagnetics) working with Arnold Orange and Oedegaard (elastic inversion) working with David Davies. In 2008, she participated in the first marine magnetotelluric survey offshore Brazil, on the Santos Basin. Dr. de Lugão was instrumental in helping establish electromagnetic methods onshore and offshore in Brazil, leading most of the recent commercial onshore surveys in that country.

Original music by Zach Bridges. 

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This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary. Thank you to the SEG podcast team: Jennifer Crockett, Ally McGinnis, and Mick Swiney.
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