The Inverse Modeling and Geostatistics Project
Research People Papers Software Teaching

The Inverse Modeling and Geostatistics Project

Exploration for oil, gas and ground water is based on two very different exploration methods.

[Geostatistics] One method makes use of direct measurements in the subsurface and an a priori model of the spatial variability to generate multiple realizations consistent with observations and an a priori model [upper left figure]. This method is known as geostatistics.

[Inverse Problem Theory] Another method is based on indirect physical measurements, typically surface measurements. By using a physical model that describes the observed data as a function of an earth model, the aim is to build a model of the subsurface illustrating geological features [upper right figure. These methods are known as inverse methods.

[Inverse modeling AND geostatistics] Quite surprisingly the two methods have until recently been used independently. This usually led to different and inconsistent models of the subsurface. It is the aim of the Inverse Modeling and Geostatistics Project to bring together the two methods to pursue models with a much better accuracy and consistency with all observed data. Improved model accuracy will have major economical and ecological impact as we aim to work on data from both ground water models and oil/gas exploration.