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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Staff Profile

Mr Oliver Sanford, BSc (Hons)

Personal web page

Ph.D. Student in the Department of Earth Sciences
Room number: Open Plan Area

Contact Mr Oliver Sanford (email at oliver.g.sanford@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Oct. 2015 - Present: PhD Student in Geophysics, Durham University
Sep. 2012 - July 2015: BSc (Hons) Geophysics (Geology), 1st Class, University of Liverpool

Project Title

Seismic Wave Propagation within Extrusive and Intrusive Basalts

Research Overview

Layers of extrusive basalts in sedimentary basins (such as the Faroe-Shetland Basin) pose a challenge for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. Complex scattering and attenuation of the seismic wavefield limits the effectiveness of traditional seismic techniques to image both the basalt and sub-basalt geology. Igneous intrusions, many of which are below the limits of vertical resolution for seismic data, pose an additional challenge. For complex data, models play an important part in helping to visualise the subsurface, however, current models may be too simplistic and do not capture the physics of the wave propagation problem.

The aim of the project is gain a better understanding of how the seismic wavefield is affected by the basalt heterogeneity, by developing models and generating synthetic seismic data using full-wavefield forward seismic modelling, to try and reproduce the scattering and attenuation observed on field seismic data. Well log data and field analogues are used to develop geologically plausible models of heterogeneous volcanic sequences.

This research project is part of the Volcanic Margins Research Consortium (VMRC), an academic-industry consortium with research focussing on hydrocarbon exploration in volcanic margins (https://www.dur.ac.uk/vmrc/).

Supervisors: Prof. Richard Hobbs (Durham), Dr. Richard Brown (Durham) & Dr. Nick Schofield (University of Aberdeen).

Awards

'Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA)' from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Seismology Section at the Fall Meeting 2017, New Orleans, USA - (https://membership.agu.org/ospawinner/oliver-sanford/)

'Best Talk' from the British Geophysical Association (BGA), at the Postgraduate Research in Progress Conference 2017, Aberdeen, UK - (https://britgeophysics.org/2017/09/05/2017-pgrip-winners/)

Conference Presentations

Oral Presentations:

O.G. Sanford, R.W. Hobbs, N. Schofield & R.J. Brown  - 'Understanding the challenges with subsill seismic imaging using full-waveform seismic modelling' - Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Annual Meeting 2018, Anaheim (CA), USA

O.G. Sanford, R.W. Hobbs, R.J. Brown & N. Schofield  - 'Modelling Seismic Wave Propagation and Scattering within Extrusive Basalt Sequences' - British Geophysical Association (BGA) Postgraduate Research in Progress Conference 2017, Aberdeen, UK -- {Award - Best Talk}

Poster Presentations:

O.G. Sanford, R.W. Hobbs, R.J. Brown & N. Schofield  - 'Full-Waveform Modelling of Seismic Wave Propagation and Scattering within Extrusive Basalt Sequences' - AGU Fall Meeting 2017, New Orleans, USA -- {Award - OSPA}

O.G. Sanford, R.W. Hobbs, C. Johnston, R.J. Brown & N. Schofield  - 'Modelling Seismic Wave Propagation within Extrusive Basalt Sequences' - EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria

O.G. Sanford, R.W. Hobbs, R.J. Brown, N. Schofield & R. J. Walker - 'Challenges with Seismic Imaging in Volcanic Margins' - VMSG-TSG-BGA Joint Assembly 2017, Liverpool, UK

Demonstrating

Postgraduate demonstrator on the following undergraduate modules:

- Field Geophysics
- Geophysical Methods
- Geophysical Data Applications

Covering:
- Gravity, Magnetic and Electrical methods - theory, field surveys, data reduction, modelling and interpretation.
- Seismic refraction theory, field surveys, data reduction, modelling and interpretation.
- Seismic reflection theory and seismic interpretation.
- Seismic data processing with Seismic Unix, shell scripting and plotting with GMT.

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Interests

  • Seismic wave propagation and scattering
  • Sub-basalt imaging
  • Seismology

Is supervised by