The Carl Heiland Lecture Series, sponsored by the Department of Geophysics at Colorado School of Mines, is given each week 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.

Unless otherwise noted, lectures take place 4 p.m. Wednesdays in Coolbaugh Hall (CO) 209.


August 29, 2018

 “The Need for 3D Geologic Mapping and the Importance and Challenges
of a Multi-Disciplinary Approach: Case History from the Rio Grande
Rift near Taos, NM”

Dr. V.J.S. (Tien) Grauch, U.S. Geological Survey, Golden, CO

The need for 3D geologic mapping, or geologic framework models that extend from surface geologic mapping into the subsurface, is a common staple of the exploration industry, but also has been steadily growing in the government sector. Government organizations from around the world, including U.S. Federal and State geological surveys, are increasingly recognizing the value of 3D geologic maps as the underpinning for making decisions regarding natural resources, natural hazards, infrastructure planning, and environmental stewardship. Multi-disciplinary geophysics, integrated with geologic information from surface mapping and drillholes, is critical for developing the subsurface component of 3D geologic maps. Each geoscientific discipline provides a different perspective on diverse aspects of the subsurface geology that must be integrated to understand the whole picture. This integration can be challenging, requiring reconciliation of apparently conflicting information, questioning of previously established results, and outside-the-box thinking to find models that are supported and/or permitted by all data sets. A case history from Rio Grande Rift near Taos, NM illustrates the value and challenges of integrating diverse geophysical and geologic information in developing a 3D geologic model for understanding the regional groundwater system.

September 5, 2018

“Making Decisions with Imperfect Data: Implications for Research, Gravity and Magnetics,
and Inversion”

Dr. Ed Biegert, Houston, TX

Dr. Biegert recently retired after 40 years with Shell Exploration and Research, where he led the non-seismic research program.  He is a principal technical expert for non-seismic geophysics, including Operations, Surveys, Interpretations, Gravity, Magnetics, EM, MT, Radar, and Remote Sensing.

Before Shell, he crashed the Space Shuttle on purpose and taught the astronauts how to fly it.  Ask him about that experience!

September 12, 2018

“The Oceans: The Last Frontier for Terrestrial Seismology”

Dr. Guust Nolet, Princeton University & Université de la Côte d’Azur

Though more than 11,000 seismic stations report their data to the ISC, less than 500 of them are located in the open ocean.  Given that the oceans cover almost 2/3 of the Earth’s surface, this unequal sensor distribution causes severe problems for seismometry, not in the least for our efforts to image the Earth’s interior and understand the processes operating in the deep mantle.

In this talk I shall review the recent development of floating seismographs (MERMAIDS), show their performance in an experiment aimed at imaging the Galapagos mantle plume, and discuss their potential for the future, not only for geophysics and oceanography, but also for multidisciplinary monitoring efforts in the oceans that may serve biology, meteorology and geochemistry.

September 19, 2018

No Lecture Scheduled


September 26, 2018

“Concrete and Concrete-Like Rocks: Engineered by Humans, Inspired by Nature?”

Dr. Tiziana Vanorio, Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory

Ancient concrete would seem to have little to do with volcano geophysics.  This presentation shows that the cementation of the caprock of a caldera in Southern Italy and cores of Roman-era concrete for which the region was known, require a similar set of chemical reactions to provide an intertwined sulfur-rich fibrous matrix being responsible for high ductiIity, strength, and Iow permeabiIity. While abundance in sulfur is expected in a caldera, its presence in both the matrix and lime of Roman concrete raises the question of the source.  By leveraging knowledge across geophysics, engineering and ancient literature we suggest that the lime-producing rock is cal-alkaline volcanic rock from the region rather than a typical carbonate rock.

The scientific relevance of the similarities between these two geomaterials is threefold: first, it helps explain the ability of the caldera to withstand periods of high-rate uplift and relatively low seismic efficiency; second, it unravels a chemical process that the ancient Romans may have unwittingly exploited while inspired by Earth processes from the manufacturing region; third, the use of a sulfurous, calc-alkaline rock resonates with the current knowledge in the Engineering showing that sulfur plays a critical role as a polymer and binding element in geomaterials.

Join us for a reception in the GRL Conference Room immediately following this lecture.

October 3, 2018

No Lecture Scheduled


October 10, 2018

“Using Geophysical Tools to Characterize Pore Structure
and Flow Properties in Carbonate Rocks”

Dr. Chi Zhang, University of Kansas

The complex behavior and coupled dynamics of water and energy systems require highly integrated and innovative research strategy (sensing technology, data processing techniques, and new scalable and adaptable model) to enhance the understanding of the tightly coupled physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern the behavior of geologic media and their constituent fluids (water, brine, CO2, and hydrocarbons) from the micro- to macro-scale.  My research jointly utilizes hydrogeological, geophysical, and biogeochemical information, coupling with theoretical and numerical simulations to accurately describe the subsurface and to monitor physical, chemical, and biological processes occurring within it.

In this talk, I will provide an overview of my research on characterizing pore attributes and fluid flow properties in the subsurface and the relevant applications to water, energy, and environment.  I will describe how to estimate porosity, pore size distribution, surface area, and permeability in complex carbonate rocks from electrical geophysical measurements and nuclear magnetic resonance fro pore to field scale.  The laboratory measurements are coupled with μCT imaging and physics-based numerical simulations of pore attributes and geophysical responses to quantify petrophysical properties during various geological processes including physical and biogeochemical alternations.  The ultimate goal of my research is to facilitate the application of geophysical techniques in critical hydrogeological and energy investigations across multiple scales.  For more information, please visit

Join us for a reception in the GRL Annex immediately preceding this lecture.

October 17, 2018

No Lecture Scheduled


October 24, 2018

Dr. Mark Panning, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CalTech

October 31, 2018

Student Heilands

Speakers and Titles Pending

Starting this fall, the Department faculty will nominate three graduate students to make presentations about their current research, that would be of interest to the Department and to the greater geoscience community.  Those students will give their presentations, followed by a short question-and-answer period.

This series of talks will be followed by a Post-Heiland Reception in the GRL Conference Room, near the Mines Geology Museum.

November 7, 2018

*on HOLD*

November 13, 2018

“An Unconventional View of Geoscience”

David Gray, Senior Geophysical Advisor, CNOOC International
2018-2019 CSEG Distinguished Lecturer

The world needs geoscientists. The American Geoscience Institute predicted a need for about 10% more geoscientists in 2024 relative to 2014, but this was before industry layoffs (Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2016). The number of layoffs and workforce demographics likely means a greater need for geoscientists to do the work that will be required. Resulting jobs will be spread across all industries, including: scientific services, mining, oil and gas, agriculture, education, government, etc.

In the western world, industries that traditionally employ geoscientists are being criticized for their practices. You can address these issues by promoting the value of the geoscience you are learning, especially to friends and family. Think outside the box when presented with opportunities to show what geoscience can do. This lecture shows some examples of how to use this unconventional view of geoscience to benefit society, your employers, and your peers. I will give examples of my successful use of unconventional geoscience, including: protection of the environment; creation of new technologies for prediction of fractures, oil reservoir production, and geomechanics; and, effective use of social media. All these employ knowledge and experience gained from my geoscience education and career. Your geoscience education and experience can also be used in your own unconventional ways to enrich society.

November 28, 2018

Stephen Moysey, Clemson University

December 5, 2018


Debra Marrufo
(303) 273-3451


Ebru Bozdag

The Heiland Lectures are made possible thanks to our generous industry sponsors.

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Shell logo

Past Lectures


January 16, 2019
January 23, 2019

Jared Peacock, U.S. Geological Survey

January 30, 2019
February 6, 2019
February 13, 2019
February 20, 2019
February 27, 2019
March 6, 2019
March 13, 2019
March 20, 2019
April 10, 2019
April 17, 2019
April 24, 2019