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SFI-Sentre for forskningsdrevet innovasjon

Centre for Geophysical Forecasting (CGF)

Alternative title: Senter for geofysisk monitorering og prognosering (CGF)

Awarded: NOK 90.0 mill.

The centre for geophysical forecasting has a vision of turning geophysical data into knowledge and understanding. Our three main applications of geophysical monitoring are connected to geohazards such as landslides and earthquakes, CO2 sequestration and natural resources. In 2022 we published a paper in Frontiers of Marine Sciences that attracted significant media attention. For the first time we demonstrated that we can use a sea bed fibre optic communication cable to reproduce vocalizing blue whale calls. Furthermore, we demonstrated that we could use the same calls for shallow seismic imaging of the subsurface below the seabed. This article was mentioned in more than 100 media channels especially internationally. Well known media as Newsweek, ORF, The Independent, Stern, La Nacion, Der Spiegel and NRK and local Norwegian newspapers as Adresseavisen and Svalbardposten to name a few. A follow up article was published in 2023 where we demonstrated that we could track 8 fin whales for many hours using two fibre optic cables in Isfjorden, Svalbard. For dissemination purposes we made a video in 2023 demonstrating how fibre otpic cables can be utilized for marine mammal monitoring. The purpose is to show the usefulnes of the new technology developed within CGF, and the target audience is students, partners and researchers. In 2023 we have started to analyse data acquired North of the Ula-field (North Sea) in 2022. Comparison between regular streamer seismic data and data measured at seabed fibre cables shows similar seismic image quality of the sediments, indicating that it is indeed feasible to use fibre cables for seismic imaging and maybe also for monitoring of pipelines and power cables at the seafloor. I 2023 har vi starta på analyse av data som vart samla inn nord for Ula-feltet i 2022. Samanlikning mellom vanlege seismiske data og data frå fiberkablar på havbotnen syner at bileta av sedimenta er like, noko som tyder på at ein kan bruke fiberkablar til seismisk kartlegging og kanskje også overvaking av gass og straumledningar på havbotnen. At our quick-clay field laboratory in Rissa we have performed several repeated seismic fibre-experiments this year to monitor if the construction of the new road could lead to any changes in the soil shar-wave properties. So far, we have not observed any significant changes in the clay shear wave velocity, indicating that the construction work has not impacted the clay so far. We have acquired fibre optic DAS-data in Grasdalen where a large snow avalanche was measured on a fibre that is trenched close to the road. The purpose of the Grasdalen experiment is two-folded: first to detect that the road is covered by snow and second to develop a warning system for on-going snow avalanches. CO2-research is a main part of CGF, and this year we have focused on how to develop a cost-effective monitoring system for subsurface storage of CO2. Another key topic has been how to detect very thin horizontal CO2-layers in the subsurface using repeated seismic data. In March 2023 we installed fibre optic cables in the Åstfjord brigde. We have established a very good cooperation with Trøndelag Fylkeskommune, and they have given us permission to perform long term DAS-measurements in the brigde. Autumn 2023 we have performed experiments together with researchers from the universities of Hamburg and Munich. These measurements will be analyzed in 2024. Based on a DAS-experiment performed close to the railway between Trondheim and Støren in 2021 we have initiated an innovation process where the purpose is to establish a CGF spin off company. This work will continue in 2023, and together with TTO (Technology Transfer Office at NTNU) this opportunity for direct innovation will be investigated. Based on experiments performed at the railway between Støren and Kongensvold in 2023, as well as experiments in Lofoten and Oslo city, we think it is realistic to spin off a company. A decision will be made in December 2023 whether this will happen or not.

The earth is a dynamic planet. There is a fundamental need to understand the processes influencing the earth’s crust, which ultimately supports and impacts all life. The arrival of rapid (in geological timescales) climate change with its associated ecosystem disruption has created additional challenges. Geophysics is key on both counts. Our vision is to create the world-leading research and innovation Centre for Geophysical Forecasting, by applying game-changing innovative technologies and bridging multiple disciplines and domains, across physics, geology, computer science, mathematics, academia and industry. To do this, a fundamental reorientation is needed in the way we view geophysical sampling and exploitation, shifting from traditional campaign-based approaches to continuous monitoring and forecasting in 4 dimensions. This requires both novel interdisciplinary synergy and the application of emerging technologies such as Distributed Acoustic Sensing through Fibre Optics cables, to the training of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Big Data. Norway is already at the forefront of exploration geophysics; we intend to leverage that expertise to catalyse a new wave of commercially-valuable geophysical capabilities, applying disruptive technologies that will be game changers in the transition from hydrocarbon geophysics to the new blue economy, founded on sustainable geophysical applications. We have assembled an international cast of partners, both academic and industrial, with substantial backing already in place from key stakeholders. We have identified three core innovation research areas: CO2-storage management, Hydrocarbon production monitoring and Geohazard monitoring and forecasting, which, together, amount to an estimated new revenue potential of 12 Bn NOK of annual business. We will create both new geophysical products and services in the core businesses of our industrial partners, as well as innovative spin-off companies with new geophysical services.

Publications from Cristin

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SFI-Sentre for forskningsdrevet innovasjon