Mengli Zhang

Research Associate


  • PhD in Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines, USA
  • MS in Geosciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, USA
  • MS in Information and Communication System, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China
  • BS in Information Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

Research Areas

My interest is in the exploration of clean energy, which aims to achieve the net-zero carbon emission and mitigate climate changes affecting human society. My research focuses on the optimization of the energy and mineral exploration cycle from acquisition, interpretation, to discovery by incorporating economic factors. I prefer the result-oriented approaches to solve real-world problems using interdisciplinary knowledge and tools: such as the integration of multi-geophysical data from seismic, electromagnetic, gravity and so on, combination of machine learning from computer science, and reconfiguration of sampling theory from applied mathematics and electrical engineering.  My current research also focuses on the information-based economical geophysical data acquisition, which has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of exploration for subsurface energy and minerals and to accelerate discoveries.

Active projects

  • PI: Delineating buried pipes using magnetic data from ergodic borehole acquisition, Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Co-PI: Efficient and economical geophysical data acquisition design, Consortium projects funded by energy and mineral industries
  • Researcher: SMART Phase-2 on carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), project funded by NETL, Department of Energy


  • GPGN598 Compressive sensing in applied geosciences


Recent Publication

  • Zhang, M., 2022, Compressive sensing acquisition with application to Marchenko imaging: Pure and Applied Geophysics, 179, 2383–2404.
  • Zhang, M., 2021, Time-lapse seismic data reconstruction using compressive sensing: Geophysics, 86, no. 5, 37-48.

Work Experience

  • Geophysicist in China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China
  • Chief Geophysicist for eastern Ordos Basin, and ten years’ experience to determine locations of more than 500 drilled wells and to carry out post-drilling analyses
  • Manager in four exploration projects and principal geophysicist in 11 projects

Professional Society Membership

  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Geological Society of America (GSA)