Episode 163: The next step in the evolution of time-lapse electrical imaging

Tim Johnson discusses his article in August’s The Leading Edge about real-time electrical resistivity tomography (ERT).

Time-lapse electrical imaging has been used for diverse scientific and engineering problems to monitor changes in the subsurface associated with fluid injections, fluid flow, solute transport, phase changes, and other physical and chemical processes. The burgeoning applications of time-lapse electrical imaging underscore its potential to provide valuable, qualitative insight to support the development of conceptual models of subsurface frameworks and processes. Tim and his co-authors posit that the next step in the evolution of time-lapse electrical imaging is autonomous, real-time monitoring, which has the potential to support real-time management decisions and feedback control of subsurface systems.

Tim presents a framework for autonomous, real-time electrical imaging. He also shares two case studies of the framework in action and potential areas of development for this work. This forward-looking conversation utilizes machine learning and the latest electrical geophysical instrumentation to highlight what the future can be for hydrogeophysics.

Seismic Soundoff · 163: The next step in the evolution of time-lapse electrical imaging

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Dr. Tim C. Johnson is a computational scientist in subsurface geophysical imaging and interpretation related to complex environmental challenges and energy applications.

He is nationally and internationally recognized for his work in electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) as a characterization and monitoring technology. He pioneered the development of E4D-RT, a real-time, four-dimensional subsurface imaging software that allows scientists to “see” subsurface processes and solutions in real-time. Tim and his team received a prestigious R&D 100 Award in 2016 for this tool.

As a senior research scientist, Tim joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2010. He worked at Idaho National Laboratory from 2007-2010 and, before that, was a staff engineer at American Geotechnics. Tim is focused on joint inversion of multiple geophysical techniques using parallel computing to improve time-lapse imaging.


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Original music created by Zach Bridges. This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at 51 features, LLC. Thank you to the SEG podcast team: Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis.

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