Episode 218: Innovations in Fault and Fracture Imaging (Molly Turko)

“Faults and fractures are not necessarily good or bad, but it’s important to really understand them.”

Dr. Molly Turko discusses March’s special section on imaging faults and fractures in The Leading Edge.

In this compelling episode, host Andrew Geary and Molly dive into the murky depths of the Earth to unravel the enigmatic nature of faults and fractures. Molly sheds light on the crucial role of imaging these hidden networks in understanding their impact on production, injection, and completions. With a clear message that faults and fractures are neither inherently good nor bad, this conversation challenges common misconceptions and emphasizes the importance of detailed imaging to gauge their significance.

Molly offers her expertise in navigating the persistent hurdles in characterizing faults and fractures, especially ones below seismic resolution. We explore innovative non-seismic techniques for fault detection and the potential of shear wave splitting reflectivity contrast. Additionally, the episode highlights the power of the aberrancy attribute in sharpening subsurface images.

Listeners will gain a fresh perspective on the multidisciplinary nature of subsurface imaging, the exciting opportunities for geoscience innovation, and the pivotal role of technology in enhancing our understanding of fault and fracture kinematics. The conversation also touches on the broader implications of this topic for the energy transition, emphasizing the continued relevance of structural geology in emerging fields like carbon sequestration and geothermal energy.

This episode showcases the subsurface as a complex picture requiring patience, curiosity, and a multidisciplinary approach.

Seismic Soundoff · 218: Innovations in Fault and Fracture Imaging (Molly Turko)


  • The nuanced roles of faults and fractures in the subsurface and their impact on various operations
  • Challenges in imaging subseismic scale faults and fractures and the promise of advanced technologies
  • Insights from recent research on innovative imaging techniques and seismic attributes
  • The importance of multidisciplinary approaches in geoscience and the potential for future innovations
  • Open data and the need for greater industry-academia collaboration
  • The significance of understanding fault and fracture kinematics for accurate subsurface characterization
  • The rising importance of microseismic monitoring in the context of climate change and sustainability

Episode Links

Guest Bio

A passionate geologist, Dr. Molly Turko has over 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and is a subject matter expert in structural geology. She received both a B.Sc. (2009) and a M.Sc. (2011) in geology from the University of Tulsa, followed by a Ph.D. (2019) from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked for several independents in the U.S., including Chesapeake Energy, and is currently full-time with Devon Energy. Her favorite role is teaching and leading field trips for Applied Stratigraphix and local geological societies. Molly is the President of AAPG’s Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division, treasurer of the AAPG Midcontinent Section, serves on the board of the OKC Geological Society, and is an associate editor for several leading geoscience journals.

Show Credits

Seismic Soundoff showcases conversations addressing the challenges of energy, water, and climate.

SEG creates these episodes to celebrate and inspire the geophysicists of today and tomorrow.

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This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at TreasureMint. The SEG podcast team comprises Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis. 

Transcription and episode summary support provided by Headliner.

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