A $1.2 million grant was awarded to WenZhan Song, Georgia State computer science professor, by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the creation of a real-time seismic imaging system, according to a university release.
Seismic imaging uses ambient noise for real-time 3-D imaging of Earth’s surface and below its crust. This knowledge could predict the ground’s stability, monitor natural hazards and aid oil exploration, according to the release.
“As they do that, it’s critical to monitor that in real time so you can know what’s going on under the ground and not cause damage,” Song said in the release. “It’s a very promising technology, and we’re helping this industry reduce costs significantly because previously they only knew what was going on under the subsurface many days and even months later. We could reduce this to seconds.”
Song already built the real-time seismic imaging system prototype and it is ready for development, according the release.
He also said the funding will advance the system to the next level.
Song began researching this topic because he had worked on a seismic sensor network for nine years.
“I started it when I was a faculty in Washington State University and collaborated with USGS and NASA,” he said.
A field demonstration will be held in Yellowstone park in 2019 because it is ideal for this type of testing, according to Song.
“There are active geyser systems in there that can and needs to be imaged,” he said.