Talk About Geophysics!  TAG Webinar Series

EEGS’ Monthly Educational Webinar Series

EEGS has developed a new educational webinar series exploring topics ranging from scientific presentations to a deeper dive into noted authors’ published articles. The webinar series is intended to offer an informal setting and an interactive opportunity to address diverse geophysical topics. Students will be pleased to see that some scheduled topics will focus on career paths, working with your advisor, etc. and small business owners will benefit from sessions ranging from business technical tools to client management.

If you have questions, email [email protected].  If you'd like to suggest a future TAG Topic or offer to host a webinar, please click here (a short, online feedback form for EEGS' TAG Webinar organizers).  

EEGS TAG Webinar – May 12
New Frontiers in Near Surface Geophysics: Muons, Cosmic Ray Neutron Probes, and Hyperspectral Imagery
Presenters:  Leon DuPlessis - Recently with Freeport-McMoRan Inc.,
Trenton Franz, Univ. of Nebraska, and Isabel Barton – Univ. of Arizona

7:00 PM Eastern, 6:00 PM Central, 5:00 PM Mountain, 4:00 PM Pacific
Pre-registration is Required!

Register Now for this Webinar:  Click Here
(URL to register:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
For a Preliminary Calendar of Upcoming Webinars click here.

More About the May Webinar Presenters & Topics

  Leon DuPlessis     

Subsurface Density Mapping Using Muon Technology 

Muons are elementary particles generated in the upper atmosphere through collisions with high energy gamma radiation interaction/collisions.  These Muons are short lived elementary particles similar to electrons but much more massive.  As they shower down onto the earth surface, the Muons penetrate the earth and are then absorbed by more massive atoms.  The 1/2 life of these Muons and their penetrating power allow for density measurements of earth structures as they travel through the ground and naturally dissipate.  Compact detectors have been developed and used for several decades to generate density profiles of ground.  Similar to standard X-Ray imaging, these density profiles can be developed on massive earthen structures.  By using multiple detectors laid out in an array, or by moving the detector, tomographic models similar to CAT scans are also possible of these massive structures.  Muon technology is proposed to image density profiles of structures in the mining industry such as Crushed Leach, Tailing and Slopes to provide non-intrusive density measures of these engineered structures and potentially identify voids, void fractions, and moisture saturation of fluids.   These models are able to provide operating information as well as to better understand structural stability issues.  This talk is intended to introduce attendees to this novel technology and to potential applications in mining.  

Leon DuPlessis is an experienced Professional Engineer with over 30 yrs of experience in Mining and Heavy Industry. Most recently, he has worked at Freeport McMoRan Research & Development identifying new and novel technologies and their application to mining.  He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering focusing on Material Science, Metallurgy and Tribology and has significant experience in environmental testing, non-destructive testing, and remote sensing.

  Isabel Barton     

Mineral Mapping Using Drone-Based Hyperspectral Imaging
Hyperspectral imaging from airborne and satellite platforms has been used for decades in exploration geology, land use planning, and other large-scale applications. Now, the advent of drone technology is bringing hyperspectral imaging closer to earth, with new applications in high-resolution characterization for mining and metallurgy. This talk will cover new pilot tests of drone-based hyperspectral imaging, which show that it can detect and map sulfates, carbonates, clays, and other phyllosilicates, which are known to destabilize mine excavations, interfere with metal extraction, and/or contribute to environmental issues around mine sites. The main ongoing research challenges associated with hyperspectral imaging for mining applications are the complexity and mixing of the spectrally active species typically present, the large size of datasets, and the need for rapid turnaround times to integrate hyperspectral imaging data into mine production planning.

Isabel Barton is an assistant professor in the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering at the University of Arizona. Her main research focuses on geometallurgy, including improving mineral characterization techniques and metallurgical extraction procedures; linking ore properties to metallurgical phenomena; and integrating geology, metallurgy, and mining engineering. She has a Ph.D. in Geosciences and an M.S. in mining engineering with an emphasis on extractive metallurgy.

  Trenton Franz     
Opportunities and Challenges Towards Integration of Hydrogeophysical Sensors in Agriculture

A vast number of companies offer access to hydrogeophysical sensor data to improve agricultural management practices: including increased crop yield, decreased water and fertilizer use, and increased profitability. However, bridging the gap between applied research and operational use remains challenging given the needs of any technology to be deployable, scalable, and profitable. In this work, I will summarize the opportunities and challenges of integrating various hydrogeophysical sensors in large-scale commercial agriculture from examples in the Midwestern USA. Results from fine-resolution (10 m) datasets for eight 64 ha agricultural field sites, spanning a range of climatic, topographic, and soil conditions across Nebraska will be presented. 

Trenton received his BS from the University of Wyoming and his Ph.D from Princeton University. Following that Trenton went on to a postdoc at the University of Arizona. Trenton is currently an Associate Professor of Hydrogeophysics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the School of Natural Resources and a faculty fellow at the Daugherty Water For Food Global Institute. His current research involves using various hydrogeophysical sensors to understand how water moves through natural and managed ecosystems. 

All TAG Webinars begin at 4:00 PT/ 5:00 MT/ 6:00 CT/ 7:00 ET and online registration is based on US time zone Mountain Time.

April Webinar -  Proximal Soil Sensing: State of the Science

Dr. Craig Lobsey, senior lecturer in mechatronic engineering at the University of Southern Queensland , University of Southern Queensland presented his perspective on some of the key challenges in the application of sensor technology for soil management, recent developments and what may be on the horizon for proximal soil sensing technology.  Organizers extended many thanks to Dr. Lobsey for his talk as well as a robust question and answer session which followed.  

In March, we invited everyone to register for and attend SAGEEP 2021 held virtually March 14-19, 2021.

February Webinar - Meet Me Halfway

The EEGS Task Force Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) takes advantage of every opportunity to raise awareness and take a lead role in setting and achieving the highest standards of integrity, fairness, dignity and respect. Therefore, February's TAG webinar series featured a Task Force DEI webinar:  Meet Me Halfway, an interactive webinar exploring intergenerational communication in a geophysics workplace.  EEGS President Barry Allred commented: "Thanks to all the Task Force members for your efforts putting together the TAG webinar. It was excellent, well organized, and the discussions in the breakout rooms were very interesting and insightful.  I think everyone really enjoyed the interactive webinar format."

The webinar slide presentation is available for viewing by clicking here.

TAG Inaugural January Webinar a Success!

TAG's first webinar was held on January 13 and welcomed guest speaker, G. Didem Beskardes, the JEEG's 2019 Alan Witten Best Paper Award recipient.  By all measures - audience participation, attendee feedback and content quality - the TAG Webinar was successful and well received.  Dr. Beskardes discussed her findings from the study published in the JEEG paper "Power Density Distribution in Subsurface Fractures Due to an Energized Steel Well-casing Source" and conducted a lengthy and insightful Q&A session.