Category Archives: PGS

Potomac Geophysical Society

PGS: Sputnik Planum (Pluto)

The April 21, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $35 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Dr. Harold Geller, Observatory Director, George Mason University

“Sputnik Planum: A geologically active impact basin on Pluto”

Talk Abstract:

Dr. Geller will give an overview of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. After providing the audience with the history of the New Horizons mission, Dr. Geller will discuss the latest findings about Pluto including the layering on Pluot’s surface; the cold and hazy atmosphere; and, the geology of an active impact basin known as Sputnik Planum.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Harold Geller is Observatory Director at George Mason University (GMU). He is a Solar System Ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He won six Telly Awards for online educational videos with Astrocast TV. He received the 2008 GMU Faculty Member of the Year Award. He has been Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy; adviser to the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement; President of the Potomac Geophysical Society; tour guide at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; producer of educational multimedia CD-ROMs; faculty at Northern Virginia Community College; doctoral fellow of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; and weekend manager of the Einstein Planetarium.  He is author of books, edited volumes, and has published over 85 papers in education, astrobiology, astrophysics, and biochemistry. Dr. Geller has been quoted in the media including USA Today, Washington Post, Huffington Post, WTOP News Radio and News Channel 8.

PGS: Remediation Tech for Superfund Site Groundwater

Please RSVP to Potomac Geophysical Society <dcgeophys@gmail.com> by March 14 if you plan to attend the dinner and/or the meeting at Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner.

The March 17, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102. This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available. Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel. The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $35 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity. Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m. For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel. Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza
Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza
Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Edward Gilbert, CPG, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Overview of Remediation Technologies for Contaminated Groundwater at Superfund Sites

Talk Abstract:
Groundwater is the main source of drinking water as well as agricultural and industrial usage worldwide. Unfortunately, groundwater quality throughout the United States has been degraded due to improper waste disposal practices and accidental spillage of hazardous chemicals. It is critical that the contaminated groundwater at hazardous waste sites across our nation be remediated in order to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s Superfund Program is responsible for cleaning up the groundwater at the nation’s most contaminated hazardous waste sites. The Superfund Program uses a wide variety of remediation technologies to ensure contaminants are either removed from the groundwater or are treated so they no longer pose a threat to human health and the environment. This talk will provide an overview of the most commonly used physical, biological, chemical, and thermal groundwater remediation technologies as well as some innovative technologies just beginning to be employed.

Speaker Bio:
Edward Gilbert is a Certified Professional Geologist with twenty years of professional experience in the characterization and remediation of contaminated groundwater at hazardous waste sites. Ed works within the Superfund Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an environmental scientist/contaminant hydrogeologist. His experience includes groundwater monitoring network design and installation; groundwater flow and contaminant transport modeling; remedial treatability/feasibility studies; treatment technologies’ bench scale studies, field scale pilot studies, and full scale remedy implementation. Ed serves as a national expert/advisor in environmental earth science and on technical issues concerning the assessment, characterization, and remediation of hazardous substance releases, oil spills, and hazardous waste sites throughout the United States. In his present position, he is involved in the evaluation and promotion of innovative remediation technologies for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Ed holds a B.S. in Earth Science from Southern Connecticut State University and a M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Connecticut. He maintains certification as a Professional Geologist through the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

PGS: Remote Sensing International Case Studies

PLEASE REPLY TO Cathy Enomoto at cenomoto@usgs.gov BY FEBRUARY 14TH IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND DINNER AND/OR MEETING AT CROWNE PLAZA TYSONS CORNER BECAUSE AN ACCURATE HEAD COUNT IS REQUIRED BY THE RESTAURANT.

Dear PGS Members,

The February 18, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102. This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available. Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel. The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $35 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity. Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m. For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel. Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza
Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza
Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

PLEASE reply to this email if you plan to attend the dinner and the presentation, or the presentation only. We want to be sure there are enough seats and meals.

Respectfully,

Catherine Enomoto, President
cenomoto@usgs.gov
703-648-6439

‘Remote Sensing International Case Studies’
Remote sensing, the collection of data without direct contact, is a greatly expanding source of spatial information from an approximate 100 operational spaceborne sensors augmented by traditional airborne systems and increasingly by Unmanned Aerial Systems. Perhaps the greatest need for these data is in developing countries and there is a long history of technology transfer in this context.

This presentation includes applied and basic science international case studies of remote sensing. There are examples from Nepal, Kenya and Afghanistan, among others including considerable field photographs. The basic science compares and integrates optical and radar imagery for land cover mapping.

Background Note: Barry Haack is a Professor of Geographic and Cartographic Sciences at George Mason University and a Visiting Scientist with the USGS National Headquarters. He has academic degrees in Geography from the University of Wisconsin, San Diego State University and the University of Michigan. He has held fellowships with NASA Goddard, the US Air Force and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Cal Tech as well as having served as a consultant to the UN, FAO, World Bank and various governmental agencies in Africa, Asia and South America. Dr. Haack is active in the America Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing where he is a Fellow. He was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and a Visiting Scientist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, Nepal.

PGS: Fairfax Urban Search and Rescue in Nepal

The Potomac Geophysical Society, November 19, 2015–directions below:

Fairfax Urban Search and Rescue in Nepal.

The description will be: After the April earthquake in Nepal, the urban search and rescue team from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded and rescued two victims from collapsed structures.  The team is one of two search and rescue teams sponsored by the federal government to conduct international search and rescue.

John Morrison serves as a Planning Section Chief within the Urban Search and Rescue team, Virginia Task Force 1, which serves as one of the 28 domestic response teams under FEMA and as one of the two response teams under USAID/OFDA.  The planning section is responsible for situational awareness, information technology, mapping, finance and documentation while the team is deployed.  He has been a member of the team since 2003.

Meeting Room and Dining Arrangements: We meet in the glassed-in room at the back of the main dining room, The Fife and Drum. We order individually from the Club menu, which has a nice variety of dinner offerings. We pay a single bill, so we collect $25 from each member and $30 from each non-member. If a diner orders more than $20 in food and drink, he adds the amount over $20 to his contribution. The $5 overcharge goes to the Room Fee, Tax, Gratuity, and the Speaker’s Dinner. We collect on the Honor System. Reception is at 6:00 p.m. downstairs in the Old Guard Lounge. We order dinner at 7:00 p.m. The presentation is at 8:30 p.m. Please note that the meal orders will be taken at 7:00 p.m. Allow 15 minutes for security entering Ft. Myer as all civilian vehicles are searched. To ensure access to and from Fort Myer, use the Hatfield Gate, open 24 hours a day. Reservations are not necessary, however, we need a head count; so, if you wish to attend dinner, please inform Bob Fraser at 703-624-3965 or via email at fraser.robert@comcast.net. If you wish, please feel free to attend the talk without dinner. Non-members and guests are welcome. Please send changes of address or email to fraser.robert@comcast.net.

 

PGS venue changing in 2016

The monthly meetings of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) for September through December, 2015, will be held at Fort Myer Officers Club in Arlington, Virginia, as in the past.  The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $25 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $30 for non-members.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge.

Starting in January and going through May, 2016, PGS will hold its monthly meetings on the third Thursday at Chili’s/On the Border Restaurant.  The restaurant with meeting room is located at 8053 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA, 22182.  This location is within one mile of the Tysons Corner Metro stop, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our meeting room is located at the back of the On the Border restaurant.  The room will hold 22 people comfortably for a dinner meeting.  The wait staff and menu will be from Chili’s.  The optional dinner cost will continue to be discounted to $25 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $30 for non-members.  The dinner cost will cover non-alcoholic drinks, tax, gratuity, and the speaker’s meal.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge.

The officers of PGS look forward to experiencing this change in venue.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Respectfully,

Catherine Enomoto, President

cenomoto@usgs.gov

PGS: Louisa, VA earthquake sequence

The Potomac Geophysical Society, October 15, 2015–directions below:

Observations on The Louisa County Earthquake Sequence.

Keith L. McLaughlin

Abstract: At 13:51:04 EDT 23 August 2011, an Mw 5.7 earthquake occurred in rural Louisa County VA, near the small town of Mineral. The MMI VIII event was widely felt in 13 states and caused an estimated $200-300 Million damage. The event has been called “The largest and most damaging earthquake in eastern US since Charleston SC 1886”.  Aftershocks continue. While the Central VA earthquake zone has a history of moderate (MMI V-VII) earthquakes, the zone has historically been sparsely monitored. Two seismic stations between 100 and 300 km of the main shock provide a tantalizing historical data set that may be successfully exploited using modern waveform cross-correlation methods.  The main-shock was a complex rupture and the aftershocks are distributed over a significant volume with a range of focal mechanisms. These factors present a unique challenge to developing correlation-based methodologies to “mine for aftershocks” and search for un-reported events. I will present work in progress using these developing methods to investigate the Louisa Sequence.

Bio: Dr. Keith Lynn McLaughlin, Leidos Technical Fellow

Ph.D., Geophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 1983. “Spatial Coherency of Seismic Waveforms” M.S., Geophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 1980. B.A., Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1974

Dr. McLaughlin’s specialty is physics-based statistical analysis of geophysical sensing (seismic, acoustic, and EM). He developed methodologies for event magnitude estimation, localization accuracy assessment, seismic, acoustic and EM adaptive signal-processing and physics-based target-based multi-mode multi-node fusion (M3NF) for MASINT exploitation architectures. Over the last three decades he worked on ground motion prediction (earthquake, explosion, machinery, vehicles, …), seismic and infrasound location, event discrimination, yield estimation, geothermal exploration, and persistent monitoring of human activities from unattended ground sensors. He was co-PI with VaTech under the DARPA Heterostructural Uncooled Magnetic Sensor (HUMS) program. He served as the PI and PM for the DTRA “IMS Group 2 Location Calibration Consortium”. He served as domain expert and US delegate to multiple bi-lateral and multi-lateral international conferences and workshops.

1998 to Present. Senior Scientist and Technical Fellow, Leidos (formerly SAIC).  Provides consulting and contributing technical services to multiple programs across the corporation. Serves as Chief Scientist, PI, and/or PM on multiple R&D efforts.

Meeting Room and Dining Arrangements: We meet in the glassed-in room at the back of the main dining room, The Fife and Drum. We order individually from the Club menu, which has a nice variety of dinner offerings. We pay a single bill, so we collect $25 from each member and $30 from each non-member. If a diner orders more than $20 in food and drink, he adds the amount over $20 to his contribution. The $5 overcharge goes to the Room Fee, Tax, Gratuity, and the Speaker’s Dinner. We collect on the Honor System. Reception is at 6:00 p.m. downstairs in the Old Guard Lounge. We order dinner at 7:00 p.m. The presentation is at 8:30 p.m. Please note that the meal orders will be taken at 7:00 p.m. Allow 15 minutes for security entering Ft. Myer as all civilian vehicles are searched. To ensure access to and from Fort Myer, use the Hatfield Gate, open 24 hours a day. Reservations are not necessary, however, we need a head count; so, if you wish to attend dinner, please inform Bob Fraser at 703-624-3965 or via email at fraser.robert@comcast.net. If you wish, please feel free to attend the talk without dinner. Non-members and guests are welcome. Please send changes of address or email to fraser.robert@comcast.net.

PGS: Maurer on “The curse of dimensionality in exploring the subsurface”

2015 Near Surface Honorary Lecturer
The curse of dimensionality in exploring the subsurface
Presented by Hansreudi Maurer
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
The term “curse of dimensionality” refers to increases in the dimensionality of model spaces that result in undesirable increases in data sparsity, such that model parameters are no longer sufficiently constrained by the data. Although the term is usually employed in combinatorics, machine learning, and data mining, it is also directly relevant for many problems in exploration geophysics. The most obvious applications are 3D tomographic inversions, which typically include very large numbers of unknowns.
There is a further “curse of dimensionality” and related data sparsity that may impede many geophysical investigations: 3D surveys typically involve the acquisition of data using only a 2D array of sensors distributed across the Earth’s surface. As a consequence, procedures for imaging the subsurface are missing data recorded in the third dimension, depth. Similar problems affect 2D inversions of (1D) profile data.
Computational problems that need to be overcome in large-scale tomographic inversions are additional issues associated with the “curse of dimensionality”. In particular, the rapidly emerging field of realistic 3D full-waveform inversions of elastic and anisotroic data is hitting the limits of current computer facilities. Seemingly ever increasing computing power will undoubtedly be beneficial for such endeavors. Nevertheless, suitable model parameterizations that offer appropriate spatial resolution while keeping the inversion problem computationally tractable will continue to be critical elements of any high dimension inversion endeavor.
Because of the large computational costs and the difficulties to cover extensive areas with geophysical sensors in complicated terrain, many land surveys continue to involve data acquisition along profiles. Such surveys will play a significant role for the foreseeable future. When solving the associated 2D inversion problems, the “curse of dimensionality” strikes again. The underlying 2D assumption that subsurface properties and topography do not change in the third dimension, that is, perpendicular to the tomographic plane, is often unjustified.
The problem of data sparsity can be partially alleviated by employing optimized experimental design and optimized data parameterization approaches. These techniques identify experimental configurations and data representations that optimize data information content and resultant models in a cost-effective manner.
In this lecture, I will illustrate the “curse of dimensionality” by means of several examples from near-surface geophysics. I will present a variety of options for addressing the related problems, including experimental design techniques and optimized model parameterization strategies. I will also discuss problems and remedies related to out-of-plane features in 2D elastic full-waveform inversions.

Biography
Hansruedi Maurer is professor for exploration and engineering geophysics at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. His research interests span from algorithmic developments for geophysical tomography to innovative field studies concerned with natural hazards, storage of dangerous waste, exploration of deep geothermal reservoirs, cryosphere research and several other areas, where geophysical techniques provide useful information. A key aspect of his research is the tight coupling of latest developments in numerical modelling and inversion theory with the solution of problems that arise in field applications of magnetic, geoelectric, inductive electromagnetic, ground-penetrating radar and seismic methods. Moreover, he is one of the leading scientists in geophysical experimental design. His contributions in this relatively new research discipline were awarded with the Best Poster Award at the 1997 meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysics and the 2004 Best Paper Award in Geophysics. He has served as an Editor for Geophysics, and he is an active member of several national and international scientific boards.