Rutgers-Newark Student Chapter to Host Honorary Lecturer

Our student chapter has been awarded the privilege of hosting the SEG Honorary Lecturer for the second year in a row! This year, Tad Smith of the Apache Corporation will visit on November 3 to speak about practical seismic petrophysics. We are thrilled to have a prominent geophysicist visit our campus again and thank SEG for the opportunity to participate in this excellent lecture series.

Environmental Site Assessments & Geophysics Colloquium

Chapter members were invited to the City College of New York (CCNY) on April 28 2011 to participate in a colloquium on environmental site assessment and geophysics. Speakers from Rutgers included Dr. Kristina Keating, Judy Robinson and Jeff Heenan and the talks covered topics on monitoring iron mineralization using nuclear magnetic resonance, tracking water movement in forest soils with electrical resistivity and identifying biological signatures related to oil degradation using spectral induced polarization. We thank Dr. Kenyon and Dr. Lampousis at CCNY for organizing this fun collaboration between our schools!

RNGS Workshop Recognized in The Leading Edge

Our student chapter recently published a short article in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists monthly magazine The Leading Edge on the successful hydrogeophysics workshop held last fall at the New Jersey Pinelands Field Station. Take a read through the article found in the “Student Zone” of the March 2010 issue (Vol. 30, No. 3, p352-3). Please click this pdf file.

Chapter Members Participate in Research Retreat

On April 15, 2011 members of our group participated in the First Annual Joint Biophysics-Geophysics Research Retreat held at the Highlands Environmental Research Institute (HEnRI) in Tuxdeo, NY. At the retreat, student members of the biophysics and geophysics research groups gave presentations of their research topics and Dr. Lee Slater and Dr. Kristina Keating lectured on how to communicate science effectively. We were also joined by Vice-Chancellor of Research, Dr. Alec Gates who talked about being a successful graduate student at Rutgers-Newark.

Upcoming Guest Lecturer: Mike Batzle (SEG Honorary Lecturer)

Mike Batzle holds the Baker Hughes Distinguished Chair of Petrophysics and Borehole Geophysics, at the Colorado School of Mines, where he has been a member of the geophysics department for the past 17 years. Previously, he was a principal scientist at ARCO Oil and Gas Company in Plano, Texas. He has a BS in geology from the University of California, Riverside, and a PhD in geophysics from MIT. His main interests have been in rock properties research primarily for engineering and geophysical purposes. Mike’s laboratory has a wide range of equipment to measure seismic and acoustic properties of rocks and fluids, including low-frequency and low-amplitude velocity, attenuation, and modulus measurements. He was awarded the Kauffman Gold Medal by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists for his research with Zhijing Wang on fluid properties. In the past, he has also conducted borehole geophysics research and development, and holds U.S. patents on tool designs. Currently, his research focus is on seismic s lithology and fluid identification, reservoir characterization, and time-lapse seismic monitoring. He has also conducted extensive research on rock strength and stability and their estimation from both laboratory measurements and well logs. At the School of Mines he established and co-directs the Rock Physics Laboratory (affectionately known as “The Center for Rock Abuse”). Please see here for more details.

Upcoming Guest Lecturer: Dr. Christopher Hubbard (University of Leeds)

Self potential: in search of the biogeobattery:
There is growing research in exploring the ability of geophysics to inform us about biogeochemical processes and changes in the subsurface. Self potential is particularly attractive as it could offer a mechanism for remotely sensing changing redox conditions, giving valuable information on the spatiotemperal success of biostimulation treatments designed to remediate groundwater contamination. Self potential anomalies have led to the theoretical development of a biogeobattery model. This model requires zones of different redox potential connected by a physical conductor, where the conductor is postulated to be a biofilm and/or a precipitated mineral phase. At Leeds, we performed flow-through column experiments designed to investigate the biogeobattery hypothesis. Columns were divided into an oxic section (clean quartz sand) and an anoxic, iron-reducing section (ferrihydrite-coated sand). Iron reduction was achieved by mixing the sand with either (i) a natural, silty sediment containing iron-reducers or (ii) a pure culture of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. No anomalous self potential signal was detected. SEM images showed the transformation of ferrihydrite to goethite and magnetite but no biofilm development. The implication is that effective biostimulation treatments will not necessarily result in the generation of self potential signals and further work is still needed to fully validate or refute the biogeobattery hypothesis.

Upcoming Guest Lecturer: Dr. Rob Jacob (Bucknell University)

Dr. Jacob will join us as our second invited lecturer of the fall semester on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Dr. Jacob specializes in hydrogeophyiscs, and his recent research has focused on obtaining quantitative information on water movement through soil using multiple-offset ground-penetrating radar measurements. Dr. Jacob is also the past-past president of the Near-Surface Geophyiscs Section (NSGS) of SEG. More information about Dr. Jacob can be found here:

Upcoming Event: Hydrogeophyiscs workshop in the New Jersey Pinelands

The Rutgers-Newark Geophysical Society plans to hold a hydrogeophysics workshop at the Pinelands Field Station ( where students and professors will explore a variety of near-surface geophysical methods aimed at studying the local hydrology including electrical resistivity, ground penetrating radar, magnetism and others. The weekend-long workshop is scheduled to run in the end of October. Dorm space and food costs will be covered for all participants. Please contact Andy Parsekian ( for more information.

Dinosaur Day

Members of the Rutgers – Newark Geophysical society volunteered at the Dinosaur Day on May 2, 2010 held by the Newark Museum. The event includes hands-on workshops, demonstrations and other activities related to geology and archeology. The event is aimed at a youth audience with many families in attendance to explore and learn various aspects of dinosaur life. The Geophysical Society demonstrated seismic refraction data collection techniques and many attendees helped out by providing a seismic source using a sledge hammer. The event was attended by approximately 5,000 people, including 4 members of the Rutgers-Newark Geophysical Society.

SEG Invited Talk

On April 7, 2010, Dr. Fred Day-Lewis of the USGS gave the inaugural for the Rutgers-Newark Geophysical Society seminar series titled: “Geophysical Monitoring of Tracer Plumes and Injection Experiments.” The abstract follows: “Geophysical monitoring can provide valuable information about time-lapse changes associated with subsurface injections of electrically conductive tracers and amendments used for engineered in-situ remediation. By monitoring changes from background electrical or electromagnetic conditions, it is possible to track geophysically the migration of tracers and amendments and infer a plume's spatial and/or temporal moments (e.g., center of mass, spread, kurtosis) from tomographic 'snapshots.' Spatial and temporal moments provide direct hydrologic insight into transport processes such as advection, dispersion, and rate-limited mass transfer. In this talk, I review recent work relevant to moment-estimation from tomograms. First, a framework is presented to evaluate the ability of a given tomographic survey to resolve a plume's moments as a function of survey design, measurement errors, regularization approach, and the plume's true moments. Second, the assumption that geochemically conservative tracers also are geophysically conservative is investigated in the context of reactive transport and rate-limited mass transfer. Third, a novel inverse parameterization is presented for time-lapse imaging of plume migration; this parameterization is based on probability distributions, which are closely linked to moments and prove an efficient physics-based description for plumes associated with solute transport.”