Carl Heiland Lecture Series

The Carl Heiland Lecture Series takes place on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM during the fall and spring semesters.  Each week, we are joined by a distinguished speaker from academia, industry, or government on a topic pertinent to the geosciences. The lecture series is a public event open to all members of the Mines community and beyond.

This fall, some Heiland lectures will be offered in person on campus in Coolbaugh Hall Room 209 and others will only be offered virtually via Zoom. A Zoom link will be available for all presentations so that you can attend from wherever you are in the world.  Locations are indicated in the Fall 2022 schedule below.

August 24, 2022

Welcome Back Event: Happy Cones Ice Cream Truck will be providing Ice Cream to GP Students/Faculty/Staff in celebration of kicking off a new academic year and the start to the Heiland Lecture Series!

Short program from 4:15 – 4:30pm to preview upcoming speakers.

4:00-5:00 p.m. Hill Hall Commons (Outside)



August 31, 2022

No Heiland this week due to the SEG Conference in Houston. 



September 7, 2022
My problem with rock physics: deficiencies and remedies from a petrophysical perspective 

Killian Ikwuakor
President & CEO of PEER Research

In person: Coolbaugh Hall, Room 209


The need exists to streamline Rock Physics models, approaches and methods, where they become less theoretical, more teachable, predictive, and complementary, as well as better suited for technology transfer. The velocity-porosity model, often referenced as the bedrock of modern rock physics, is weak because it does not complement other rock physics models, and, at best, could only serve local investigations. By using the reciprocal velocity-porosity general linear form, which is valid for both P-wave and S-wave, together with established response equation for bulk density, I have systematically developed a family of linear interrelations that define rock or elastic properties in a manner that lends them petrophysical and geologic relevance and character. The slopes and intercepts of the response equations and interrelations consist of coefficients dependent on lithology or rock-type, effective stress, grain contact areas, and the pore fluid. Therefore, the interrelations and response equations are rock-typing criteria, and better suited for interpreting the subsurface.

I will use derivation of the Archie Equation for water saturation to demonstrate development and criteria of the linear interrelations. I also will show petrophysical definitions of acoustic impedance and the Vp/Vs ratio as practical examples that prove the linearity predicted, as well as values of slopes and intercepts of the relationships that uniquely discriminate clastic and carbonate reservoirs. The results achieved so far lead to a new knowledge base in mathematical petrophysics for systematic development and use of equations relating rock and elastic properties. As a bonus, the relationships possess enormous potential for further R&D, and widen the spectrum of combined and simultaneous applications of P-wave and S-wave data.


Dr. Killian Ikwuakor is a multi-disciplinary geoscientist with over 40 years international experience in teaching, research, entrepreneurship, consultancy, and oil & gas exploration. He is currently Founder and President/CEO of PEER Research Ltd., a private research firm based in Ilorin, Nigeria. PEER Research focuses in development of petrophysical and multi-disciplinary techniques for quantitative reservoir characterization, and in helping researchers in academia become more successful.

Dr. Ikwuakor earned his BSc degree in Geology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, MSc in Geophysical Engineering and PhD in Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines. He worked as exploration geologist in the Niger Delta Nigeria for Ashland and Deminex oil companies, and as Senior Geophysicist for Getty Oil Company and Texaco in Denver, covering several basins in the Rocky Mountain Region. He also completed a research contract in the Williston Basin for the US Department of Energy, and was a petrophysical consultant for Schlumberger/PEMEX in Mexico, and International Reservoir Technologies in Lakewood, Colorado. From 2012-2018, Dr. Ikwuakor contributed to developing a new university in Nigeria, the Kwara State University, where he taught courses in geoscience and served the university as Director of the Center for Sponsored Projects and Executive Secretary of the University Research Council. His current research interest is mathematical petrophysics, a term coined to describe interrelationships between rock property measurements, or elastic properties, and their use in predictive and quantitative reservoir characterization.

Killian is married to Patricia, his spouse of 46 years. They have six grown children that includes a set of triplets, and two granddaughters.







A Zoom link will also be available for this presentation. To receive the link contact Ge Jin at or Noelle Vance at

September 14, 2022
Lecture cancelled due to unforseen circumstances. 

Daniel Scheeres
University of Colorado Distinguished Professor • A. Richard Seebass Chair • National Academy Member
Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR)

In person: Coolbaugh Hall, Room 209


Over the past few decades, there have been several missions that have explored small, rubble pile asteroids. The scientific exploration of these bodies is driven by their primitive compositions, which can contain materials that are largely unchanged from the formational epoch of the solar system. This has motivated a few sample return missions from these bodies to study the fundamental chemistry of the early solar system. However, the study of these bodies has also exposed many interesting aspects of, and questions about, the unique geophysical properties about these bodies. In fact, the study of the geophysics of rubble pile bodies is of fundamental interest for understanding key aspects of solar system evolution, including the formation of planetesimals across all regimes in the solar system, the unique and dynamic structures seen in planetary rings, and the formation of rubble pile asteroids following catastrophic collisions.

Given the unique environment about these small bodies, the determination and estimation of their mass distribution parameters and internal processes is challenging. These bodies balance gravitational, inertial and cohesive forces, while dynamical motion on and about them are also strongly perturbed by their irregular mass distributions and by exogenous forces such as from solar photon pressure. Despite the challenges of operating spacecraft in these environments, we have achieved significant insight into the internal structure of a number of these small bodies. These have provided unique constraints on their formation and overall evolution. In this talk the fundamental geophysical processes of small rubble pile asteroids will be presented, and several key exploration missions to these bodies will be reviewed and their results discussed. Finally, some future ideas for the continued exploration of rubble pile asteroid geophysics will be presented.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Dan Scheeres is a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor and is the A. Richard Seebass Endowed Chair Professor in the Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Scheeres is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a Fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society.  Scheeres has studied the dynamics of the asteroid environment from a scientific, engineering and navigation perspective since 1992 and has been involved with NASA’s NEAR mission to asteroid Eros, the Japanese Hayabusa missions to asteroids Itokawa and Ryugu. He was a co-investigator on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu where he led the Radio Science team, and is the PI for Janus, a NASA SIMPLEx mission that will launch two spacecraft to flyby two separate binary asteroids. Asteroid 8887 is named “Scheeres” in recognition of his contributions to the scientific understanding of the dynamical environment about asteroids.

If you have questions, please contact Ge Jin at or Noelle Vance at

September 21, 2022
Development of Multi-Stage Fracturing System and Wellbore Tractor to Enable Zonal Isolation During Stimulation and EGS Operations in Horizontal Wellbores

Dr. William Fleckenstein
Colorado School of Mines

In-person: Coolbaugh Hall, Room 209


Our $5.34 million DOE funded project is focused on the development and demonstration of patented and patent-pending devices and methods to yield transformative stimulation and conformance technologies that will create effective geothermal heat exchangers. These heat exchangers will use long-reach, horizontal injectors and producers connected through multiple networks of induced and natural fractures. Our technology significantly advances the state-of-the-art in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) by addressing two critical technology gaps:

  • Multi-stage stimulation technology that does not have temperature limitations of conventional “Plug and Perf” stimulation techniques.
  • Effective conformance control at reduced capital costs.


Dr. William Fleckenstein is the Director of the Mines’ Strategic Business Development, Office of Global Initiatives and Business Development.  He is the principal investigator on a $5.34 million DOE project to develop tools for use in a subsurface heat exchanger as part of the DOE’s enhanced geothermal system research at FORGE in Utah.  He’s also an energy industry consultant with his firm Fleckenstein, Eustes & Associates in Golden, Colorado. He consults on development issues in multiple U.S. basins, designing drilling, completion, and workover programs for onshore and offshore wells as well as working on IP issues.

Fleckenstein was the 2017-18 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Distinguished Lecturer, received the Mines Inventor of the Year Award in 2018, and the SPE Regional Completions Optimization and Technology Award in 2019. He is a registered professional petroleum engineer in the state of California. Fleckenstein is a Mines alum who received his BS, MS, and PhD here.





September 28, 2022
Passive seismic direct imaging of hydraulic and natural fractures

Dr. Alfred Lacazette
Director of Geology for Geothermal Technologies, Inc.


Conventional passive seismic methods identify microearthquakes, which represent a small fraction of the energy released during hydraulic fracturing. Conventional methods cannot image fluid resonance, slow-slip events, or other sources of seismic energy. This talk will describe a method that sums seismic activity of all types to directly image hydraulic fractures and hydraulically conductive natural fractures as complex surfaces and networks. Oil and gas production can also be imaged. The images can be imported directly into Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) reservoir simulators.

The method has been used commercially since 2009. Its accuracy has been repeatedly verified with independent data sets.

Data is collected with a surface array of either standard geophones or a less dense array of shallowly buried sondes. Standard geophones are the least expensive solution for a single monitoring event, but buried arrays are less expensive for multiple monitoring events. Successive buried array images can be compared quantitatively because the array properties are constant. An example of production imaging over a three-year period will be given.

Additionally, the method can image natural seismic emissions resulting from earth tides and tectonic stresses. Such quiet-time images reveal hydraulically conductive fractures prior to drilling. Images can be collected during standard 3D seismic reflection surveys by simply leaving the array on when shooting is not in progress and it is otherwise quiet on the grid.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Lacazette received a PhD in Geoscience from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).  He has over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.  He currently works as Director of Geology for Geothermal Technologies, Inc. and as Geologic Advisor to Ambient Reservoir Monitoring, Inc.  He is a structural geologist whose work focuses primarily on natural fracture systems and their interactions with hydraulic fractures, the chemical and mechanical interplays of fluid-rock interaction, and passive seismic imaging.




October 5, 2022
Slip Slidin’ Away: Glaciers and Ice Streams in the Climate System

Dr. Sridhar Anandakrishnan
Dept. of Geosciences, Penn State University



Glaciers are made up of ice that flows under its own weight. Glaciers flow in two main ways: one is internal deformation where the body of the glacier deforms and ice flows relatively slowly. The other is glacier sliding where the ice slides on a layer of water and water-saturated sediments. Our understanding of the glacier-sliding mode of ice flow is incomplete. In the next century, sea level will be mainly affected by the health and volume of the Polar ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. In this talk, I will introduce you to the glacier hydrologic system and to one glacier in particular—Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica—and its potential to significantly raise global sea level in the coming years. As a geophysicist, I will focus on the observations and measurements, but will also talk about some of the numerical modeling issues. This talk will be applicable for both general earth scientists and climate scientists.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Sridhar Anandakrishnan is a geophysicist and glaciologist at Penn State University. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in Geophysics and his MS and BS from Columbia in Electrical Engineering. He has spent 23 seasons in Antarctica and six in Greenland studying ice sheets, glaciers, and ice shelves.





October 12, 2022
From Mines Geophysics to Mining Geophysics – An Early-career Scientist’s Perspective

Sarah Devriese
Mines-Geophysics Alum and Project Geophysicist at Teck Resources Limited

In-person: Coolbaugh Hall, Room 209


In this talk, I will share why I chose the geophysics department at Mines during my first year and what made me stay with a career in geophysics. I touch on one of my favourite PhD projects, showcasing applied geophysics for oil sands exploration. Weaved in will be snippets of my personal life and transitioning from a keen undergrad student, through the challenges of graduate school, and landing rewarding and exciting jobs in mineral exploration while becoming a mum and continuing my passion for mountain biking in British Columbia.


Sarah Devriese graduated from Mines in 2010 with a BSc in Geophysical Engineering and minors in Geology and Math & Computer Science. After Mines, she moved to Canada and obtained a PhD in Geophysics from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Devriese is a project geophysicist with Teck Resources Limited in Vancouver, BC. She has a strong background in geophysical inversions and is particularly interested in the application of inversion to applied mineral exploration problems and collaborating with her team’s geologists. She is the chair of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Mining Committee and is a registered professional geoscientist in British Columbia and Alberta.


October 13, 2022: Special Event - Joint Heiland-VanTuyl Lecture
Exploring the Sedimentary Rock Record of Mars with NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance Rovers

Dr. Kathryn Stack Morgan
M2020 Deputy Project Scientist
Research Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

4:00 p.m. in the Ben H Parker Student Center Grand Ballroom


Since the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover arrived in Gale crater in August 2012, the Curiosity team has addressed questions of early Mars habitability through the exploration of a diverse sequence of sedimentary rocks. For most of the mission, Curiosity has been exploring its main exploration target – the lowermost strata of the five-km-high mountain in the center of Gale crater, informally named Mount Sharp. During the trek upward through the basal units of Mount Sharp, the Curiosity team has observed the evolution of an ancient lake system, including evidence for cycles of wetting and drying, deposition by wind and rivers, and the pervasive interaction of water with sediments in the subsurface.

October 19, 2022

Slow Adjustment of Gas Hydrate Systems to Change: Possible Implications for Carbon Cycling

Dr. Ingo Pecher
CMSS Professor, Texas A&M University

In person, Coolbaugh Hall, Room 209; Webinar link:


Vast amounts of carbon are stored beneath the sea floor in the form of methane hydrate, an ice-like form of water with methane in its molecular cavities. Its stability depends on pressure and temperature. Thus, a change of either factor may lead to gas hydrate dissociation releasing some of the stored carbon. Hydrate systems are often thought to adjust without much delay to changes in environmental conditions compared to geologic time scales. Recent modelling, however, suggests hydrate dissociation in sediments may take thousands of years. This presentation will show observational evidence from well-logging and coring during International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expeditions 372 and 375 for the presence of a hydrate well outside its regional thermodynamic stability field. This hydrate may have been in the process of dissociation for over 50,000 years. Any release of methane from hydrate through glacial cycles and during climate change may thus be significantly delayed with important implications for carbon cycling, sea floor stability, and ocean acidification.

Speaker Bio

Ingo Pecher has studied natural gas hydrates for nearly thirty years. He is a professor of Geophysics at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. Before taking up this position in early 2022, he held appointments at the University of Auckland and GNS Science, New Zealand. He received his PhD from the University of Kiel, Germany, in 1995. Dr. Pecher is applying geophysical techniques, in particular active-source seismology, to investigate the seafloor, with a focus on seafloor fluid flow and marine gas hydrate deposits. He led or co-led energy-related gas hydrate research in New Zealand for over ten years as well as several research projects broadly related to sea floor fluid flow and was co-chief scientist during IODP Expedition 372.


October 26, 2022

Seismic Surface Waves to Interpret Subsidence Features and Cavern Roof Failure Stages

Dr. Sarah Morton-Rupert
Geophysicist, Bureau of Reclamation

Remote Only: Webinar link:


Time-lapse seismic surface-wave surveys successfully estimated shear-wave velocity (Vs) variations in a laboratory test box using a physical model designed to simulate void roof failure and migration to the ground surface. A trapdoor simulating the roof of a void, moved vertically downward while time-lapse photographs were taken to visually monitor failure features. Pseudo-2D Vs profiles were generated using surface-wave inversion of seismic data, with velocity variations interpreted and correlated to observed failure features. Based on the pseudo-2D Vs images, temporal variations in the bulk-velocity structure were consistent with the development of repeated failure visually described as an arch (or dome) above the collapsing void. The combined results from this physical model support the conceptual model that Vs variations can be an indicator of stress-field variations in the roof structure above a void and used to map the progression of a collapse structure.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Sarah Morton Rupert is an engineering geophysicist with over 10 years of experience in applied geophysics research for engineering and geohazards-related projects. Her career started at the U.S. Geological Survey in 2010 followed by research positions with the Connecticut Geological Survey, the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering in Taiwan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center, and the Kansas Geological Survey. In 2021, she joined the Bureau of Reclamation as a Geophysicist at the Technical Service Center in Denver, Colorado.


November 2, 2022

Planetary exploration: What’s our geoscience place in space?

Rob Stewart
Director, Allied Geophysical Labs
Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair in Exploration Geophysics
Professor of Geophysics

In person – 209 Coolbaugh Hall


The period around 1500 was a remarkable age of global exploration, discovery, and mapping. The early 2000s bear some similarities to that expansive time, but now on the scale of the solar system. Much of exploration geophysics has been dedicated to probing the Earth’s subsurface in the quest for energy and materials. Considerable prosperity has followed. Now, a burgeoning satellite, space station, and planetary exploration set of activities is fueling substantial engineering and scientific advancement along with considerable further understanding of our world and its neighborhood. A vibrant space economy is developing. Much of this work has geoscientific goals along with its economic objectives. Geophysical techniques are a key part of many space missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Private and public space companies are in-creasing in numbers, funding, and activity. We anticipate human habitation on other planetary bodies in the near future. Thus, as a profession of explorers and developers, there is a compelling opportunity for geophysics to expand its scope in planetary science and the next phase of human development. This talk summarizes some of the current space (that zone above about 100 km) activities, how applied geoscience is and can be involved, and some of the fascinating places where we’re going.


Speaker Bio

Dr. Robert Stewart received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in Math and Physics and Ph.D. in Geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked with various sectors of the geophysics world as an oil company employee, service company staff member, small business owner, and non-profit councilor.  Dr. Stewart was Professor of Geophysics at the University of Calgary and co-founded the CREWES Project, a university-industry consortium. In 2008, he joined the University of Houston (UH) as the Cullen Chair in Exploration Geophysics and is Director of the Allied Geophysical Laboratories. He has received UH’s Natural Sciences and Mathematics Teaching Excellence and Provost’s Teaching Awards. Rob is a licensed geoscientist in Alberta (P. Geo.) and Texas (P.G.). He holds fixed-wing and unmanned aircraft certifications. He has published over 170 articles in geoscience journals and magazines.

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) was Rob’s first professional home. He was the SEG’s inaugural Distinguished Educator (presenting courses in 13 countries), received the SEG Lifetime Membership Award, and served on SEG’s Board as 1st Vice President in 2013-14 then President in 2018-19. He has developed a number of courses for SEG including: Borehole Seismic Exploration, Multicomponent Seismology, Tomography, and Writing and Presentation for Geophysicists. Rob served as President of the Canadian SEG and received its Honorary Membership Award and Medal. He completed service as the 1st Vice President of the Geophysical Society of Houston (GSH), was Chair of the GSH’s Spring Symposium in 2015, and is a GSH Honorary member. Rob directs UH’s Geophysical Field Camps and led the SEG Geoscientists Without Borders subsurface imaging project in Haiti. His geophysical interests include multicomponent seismology, borehole geophysics, GPR, drones, fiber optics sensors, and transforming well logs to music.



November 9, 2022

Understanding the role of water in driving thaw and carbon cycling in changing permafrost environments using novel geophysical methods

Dr. Stephanie R. James
Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey

In person: 209 Coolbaugh Hall; Webinar link:


High-latitude ecosystems are experiencing substantial changes across local and global scales. Permafrost degradation—driven by both above and below ground factors—can significantly impact plant, animal, and human communities as well as the global carbon budget. Observing how conditions are changing below the surface, especially prior to collapse, is critical to understanding the mechanisms and impacts of permafrost degradation. Chiefly, unfrozen water within and overlying permafrost may be a critical driver in ecosystem-scale carbon cycling, yet has been poorly characterized in situ. In a multidisciplinary field study at a thermokarst site in Interior Alaska, innovative combinations of geophysical and biogeochemical measurements are being collected along a thaw gradient to better understand the importance of subsurface water and ice dynamics in driving permafrost thaw, influencing microbial activity, and shaping the magnitude and timing of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes to the atmosphere. Complementary geophysical methods—passive seismic monitoring, borehole nuclear magnetic resonance, and electrical resistivity tomography—provide high-temporal and spatial resolution measurements of near-surface changes in unfrozen water content and ice saturation. The geophysical datasets are combined with co-located measurements of soil temperature, soil moisture, surface gas chambers, eddy covariance flux towers, and in situ permafrost gas probes. Integration of these datasets reveal spatial patterns in talik zones, subsurface unfrozen water content, and permafrost GHG concentrations. Additionally, geophysical monitoring on daily, seasonal, and interannual timescales capture hydrologic and thermal responses to discrete rainfall events, seasonal freeze-and-thaw, wintertime fluctuations, and long-term permafrost degradation. The results of this field study demonstrate the power of multidisciplinary measurements for gaining insights into relationships between subsurface thermal, hydrologic, and biogeochemical factors within the rapidly changing permafrost domain.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Stephanie James is a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) working within the Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center based in Denver, Colorado. Stephanie received her BSc. in Geology from Colorado State University in 2011 and her PhD in Geology from the University of Florida in 2017. She was a National Science Foundation Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow from 2017 to 2019 before transitioning to her current position with the USGS. Her research interests encompass the fields of near-surface geophysics, seismology, hydrogeophysics, and the cryosphere.



November 16, 2022

Single and Crosswell Imaging of Shallow CO2 Accumulations: Examples from a Shallow Injection Experiment at the Carbon Management Canada CaMI FRS in Southeast Alberta, Canada

David Alumbaugh
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

In-person: 209 Coolbaugh Hall; Webinar link:


Electromagnetic (EM) and seismic geophysical techniques offer the possibility of monitoring subsurface gaseous and/or super critical fluid CO2 accumulations in saline reservoirs. The increasing replacement of water / brine in the pore space by gaseous CO2 will reduce both the bulk rock density and seismic acoustic velocity while at the same time increasing the seismic attenuation.  At the same time gaseous CO2 has essentially an infinite electrical resistivity compared to the pore water, and thus the accumulation of CO2 will increase the bulk-rock resistivity. This presentation will discuss the results of Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s involvement in an experiment where supercritical CO2 was injected at approximately 300 m depth and then naturally flashed to replacing the pore water with bubbles of CO2.  The purpose of this shallow injection was to simulate CO2 leaking upward from a deeper storage reservoir and accumulating in a shallower aquifer. LBNL’s contribution to the project involved acquiring baseline cross-well seismic and EM data between two monitoring wells spaced 50m apart and straddling the injection well in November of 2017, and returning in December of 2021 to collect post-injection cross-well data after 41 tons of CO2 had been injected.  Over this same time period, single-well electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data were being autonomously acquired two to three times per week using a 16-electrode array installed outside one of the monitoring wells which is cased with non-conductive fiberglass casing. We will first discuss the underlying physics of the different borehole-based seismic and EM monitoring techniques and describe why they are sensitive to the presence of CO2. This discussion is followed by the description of the experiment at the Carbon Management Canada Containment and Monitoring Institutions (CaMI) Field Research Station (FRS) test site. The remainder of the talk will describe the data as well as attempts to image it, and also describe why the various geophysical techniques ran into problems providing images of the resulting plume.

Speaker Bio 

Dr. David L. Alumbaugh received a BS in Geological Sciences from San Diego State University and a PhD in Material Sciences and Mineral Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1993 to 1999 he was a scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, and from 1999-2005 served as professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2004, he joined Schlumberger’s EMI Technology Center where he helped to commercialize cross-well electromagnetic imaging as an oil-field offering. After a short stint at Chevron Energy Technology Company, he joined NEOS GeoSolutions where he remained until 2018. Since 2019 he has been a Staff Scientist in the Energy Geosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). His research interests are focused on electromagnetic characterization and imaging of the Earth’s subsurface as well as multiphysics data integration. He serves in a leadership role of LBNL’s Geologic Carbon Storage and Hydrocarbon Science programs. Alumbaugh is also a Principal in BlueGreen Geophysics, a small consulting company specializing in electromagnetic geophysical methods, He is the author/co-author of over 60 peer reviewed publications, 7 book chapters, 15 invited talks and presentations, and 14 US patents.


November 23, 2022

No Heiland this week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.

November 30, 2022

Not the surface waves you’re thinking about!

Bia Villas Bôas
Colorado School of Mines

In-person: 209 Coolbaugh Hall; Webinar link:


Ocean surface gravity waves play a major role in the exchange of momentum, heat, energy, and gases between the ocean and the atmosphere. Strong winds blowing over long fetches give rise to long-period waves, known as swell, that can propagate great distances from their source; hence, the surface wave field in a given region results from the combined response to both local and remote wind forcing. Waves are also modulated by ocean currents via wave–current interactions, which lead to variations in their direction, frequency, and amplitude. Despite wave motions being strongly coupled to the upper-ocean circulation and the overlying atmosphere, efforts to improve ocean, atmosphere, and wave models and observations have evolved somewhat independently. However, surface wave physics is key to better representing the coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere. In this talk, I will present an overview of contemporary problems regarding interactions between waves, winds, and currents and discuss exciting results from recent modeling efforts and field observations. I will conclude by sharing present community efforts to shed light on the role of these interactions in the Earth’s weather and climate.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Villas Bôas is a physical oceanographer who combines observations, theory, and modeling to help bridge the gap between the ocean and the atmosphere and further our understanding of how coupled air-sea interactions affect the environment. In particular, her research lies at the forefront of quantifying how ocean surface-wave physics shapes global climate processes, and impact measurements from remote sensing platforms.

Dr. Villas Bôas received a PhD in 2020 from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California-San Diego. Before joining Mines as an assistant professor in geophysics, she was a post-doctoral scholar at Caltech.

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