Geodynamics and Basin Studies
Master's project GEO - Morten Jakobsen

Synergies between seismic and medical ultrasound imaging

This master's project is available from the intake of August 2019.

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Project description

There are many similarities between seismic and medical ultrasound imaging. In the case of seismic imaging, we record waves passing through the Earth to image the Earth’s interior in search of anomalies to help exploring for natural resources. In the case of medical ultrasound imaging, we image the interior of the human body in order to diagnose undesirable anomalies. Both imaging methods are done prior to invasive procedures. In the geophysical case, seismic imaging is done prior to costly drilling. In the medical case, imaging is generally prior to surgery. Seismic and medical ultrasound imaging have their similarities and differences other than the fact that in the case of seismic imaging we hope to discover anomalies (e.g., gas, water or oil) whereas in medical ultrasound imaging, we hope to not find anomalies (e.g., breast cancer or fractured bones). 

In this project, the master student shall investigate the similarities and differences between seismic and medical ultrasound imaging in order to allow for synergetic developments of more accurate imaging methodology. More specifically, the student shall develop T-matrix variants of the Distorted Born Iterative (DBI) method and investigate the use of different regularisation methods for obtaining stable solutions. The student should test the different T-matrix variants of the DBI algorithm for seismic and medical ultrasound imaging using realistic models of fluid-saturated rock formations and breast cancer models, respectively. The student will be connected to a research group that has significant experience with such interdisciplinary imaging problems.

Proposed course plan during the master's degree (60 ECTS)
GEOV276 - Theoretical Seismology
GEOV219 - Computational methods in Solid Earth Physics
PTEK218 - Rock physics
Special syllabus on Medical Ultrasound Imaging

This project is suitable for a master student that is interested to apply methods from physics, mathematics and computer science in Earth Science, and which is also curious about related fields like medical ultrasound imaging. After completing this project, the student will have experience and skills that are attractive for many (imaging physics) jobs both within and beyond the oil industry.