Evaluating consistency in complex structural models in areas
of high interpretation uncertainty

PhD Studentship at the University of Aberdeen, collaborating with Aachen University
and the Universite de Lorraine, Nancy

Funded by Total Geological Research Centre

Accurate models of subsurface Earth structure are fundamental for finding and producing hydrocarbons. The key data come from seismic surveys and the interpretation of these images employs thousands of geoscientists across the globe. Analytical strategies and methodologies used to interpret seismic images are diverse, commonly relying on know-how held by experts. Existing studies show that the same seismic datasets can be interpreted to yield different models of subsurface structure, and even experts working data of exceptional quality rarely agree on important detail. This project is designed to investigate methods for identifying areas of high uncertainty and complexity in structural models created from the interpretation of seismic image data, to evaluate possible models and their consistency to improve interpretation workflows.

The PhD research will address this challenge in three parts.

  1. Identification of areas of high uncertainty and hence high risk in structural models.
  2. Analysis of the effectiveness of stochastic modelling in high risk areas.
  3. Determine if a priori information can be used to condition stochastic model outputs effectively.


We are looking for a numerical geoscientist who is interested in working across the interface of geocognition and computer modelling. Previous experience in coding or mathematical modelling and an appreciation for structural geology techniques and analysis are desired. The student will be based in Aberdeen, but will need to spend significant periods in Aachen and Nancy and should be happy to travel.

Supervision Team:

Clare Bond, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen clare.bond@abdn.ac.uk
Florian Wellmann, Graduate School AICES, RWTH Aachen University
Guillaume Caumon, Nancy School of Geology, Universite de Lorraine
Florent Lallier, GRC Total, Aberdeen

For informal enquiries contact: Clare Bond clare.bond@abdn.ac.uk

Formal applications must be made online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geology, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct Discipline for processing. NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR and EXACT PROJECT TITLE ON THE APPLICATION FORM.

Application deadline November 22nd 2017

posted: 31 October 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.