Geophysics Research Group

Research Overview

 The Geophysics Research Group exists at UNL since August 2016. Unlike many other geophysical research programs that focus on the application or development of a single geophysical method, our group utilizes the integrative approach in geophysical data analysis. We are looking for the answer (i.e. the geological model of the subsurface) that fits ALL available geophysical data and remains geologically valid. The data we use include seismic (reflections, refractions, earthquakes), gravity and magnetics; we also utilize any geological constraints that we can find, such as surface geology, well logs or tectonic restorations. The integration of multiple geophysical methods with all available geological constraints allows us to derive the most confident solution as it honors all the data.

Our group conducts research in three major directions: the tectonic study of the Gulf of Mexico, geophysical studies in Nebraska and integrated geophysical analysis of the Cascadia subduction zone.

Tectonic history of the Gulf of Mexico

This project is popular among students with potential interests in the oil & gas industry career. As the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most prolific petroleum provinces in the world, the analysis of geological and geophysical data in the basin remains very demanded. Our group’s research focuses on the tectonic history of the basin. We have developed a series of integrated geophysical models throughout the gulf that is based on the joint analysis of multiple geophysical datasets. The overall goal is to develop a set of geological constraints for the future tectonic restoration of the basin, such as the location of the Ocean - Continent Boundary (OCB), the location and thickness of the pre-salt sediments, the spatial extent of the Seaward-Dipping reflector (SDR) provinces on the conjugate margins, etc. Please check our Publications.

Geophysical studies in Nebraska

We investigate the subsurface structures in Nebraska via the integration of potential fields with earthquakes locations and well data. We use spatial analysis of gravity, magnetics, and seismology to map the location of the buried basement faults in the state of Nebraska. The recent spike in recorded seismicity in central Nebraska - 27 earthquakes near Stapleton, NE from April to December 2018 – appears to be aligned with one of our interpreted subsurface faults. We plan to collect new geophysical data in 2019 in order to study that fault and explain what is causing that sudden spike in seismicity in central Nebraska.

Read more HERE, HERE and HERE

Studying the Cascadia subduction zone

Dr. Filina participated in the NSF sponsored 2017 Early Career Seismic Chief Scientist Training Cruise aboard the Research Vessel Roger Revelle. HERE are some posts about that cruise. We have acquired 22 seismic lines in both oceanic and continental domains to map the subsurface structures over the Cascadia subduction zone. All lines have simultaneous gravity data records; some (not all) have magnetic measurements. The data processing and interpretation are ongoing. Stay tuned! If you want to be involved in this project, please contact Dr. Filina.

Investigating the continental status of Zealandia

The major outcomes of this project are reported in the Honors Thesis of Claire Richardson defended in Fall 2018. The primary objective of the project was to explore the nature of the crust of the New Caledonia Trough that is located within a newly proposed continent of Zealandia. The joint analysis of seismic, gravity, magnetic and well data suggested that the crust within New Caledonia trough is oceanic. Moreover, one more region with Zealandia was identified with potentially oceanic crust. The study was presented at the annual AGU meeting in December 2018 (the abstract is HERE)