Geodynamikk og Bassengstudier
Masterprosjekt V19 - Tor Arne Johansen (BRS)

Possible seismic monitoring of thawing of terrestrial sediments in the Arctic: Rock physics modelling of sediments in Adventdalen, Svalbard.

Dette masterprosjekter er ledig fra opptaket vår 2019, Institutt for geovitenskap


Project description

The ongoing rise in temperature in the Arctic may have severe effects on huge areas of the todays permanently frozen tundra in the Northern Hemisphere. Thawing of frozen sediments will cause release of water, the soil to become unstable and possible outlets of climate gases. Seismic waves are very sensitive to the stiffness of sediments, and, thus, as frozen sediments thaw their seismic properties will alter significantly. If the seismic properties of near surface sediments can be monitored over time, this can potentially be used to predict the heat flux into the terrestrial Arctic.

The seismic properties of unconsolidated water-saturated sediments will increase strongly as the pore water freezes, and, which subsequently will affect the signature of seismic waves propagating along the surface. The problem is first to evaluate possible rock physics models which can be used to estimate the seismic properties of freezing near-surface sediments. Second is to use rock physics modelling to estimate seismic velocities at some well positions in Adventdalen, Svalbard. Finally, the estimated velocities are to be compared to data obtained from seismic experiments in Adventdalen.

The work will be a part of a larger scientific project involving several master projects and the field work is to be carried out in collaboration with other master and PhD-students. The field work will take place in Adventdalen, in the vicinity of UNIS, see www.unis.no during the spring of 2019. The theoretical part of the work and evaluation data from field work is basically to take place at GEO/UoB. 


The candidate needs a solid knowledge of rock physics and general knowledge in seismic data acquisition and processing.

NB!! The candidate must apply for the course AG-335 at UNIS, Svalbard within the UNIS-deadline October 15th 2018. Please contact the project supervisor(s) or the programme coordinator immediatly if you would like to apply for this project, winter 2018/19.

Field work

Field work of approximately two months in Adventdalen, Longyearbyen, related to conducting active and passive seismic experiments.