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Data Challenges in Analyzing Fault Slip Rates, Determining Drilling Targets for Gold Exploration and Understanding Lithospheric Subsidence in Antarctica

January 17, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

Dr. Sumant Jha

What to Expect

Data is the backbone of any analysis. From using NASA’s space radar topographic mission data for analyzing landslide hazards to using data collected from scientific ships around Antarctica to determine the shape of the seafloor over the past 5 million years, I have used data in different formats to address different scientific questions. Geoscientific analysis invariably involves reading a given set of geologic/geophysical data to devise solutions for a particular problem. These data consist of both processed, structured data as well as raw, unstructured data. Further, data are stored in different formats, like plain text, CSV, MS-Excel, MS-Access, shapefiles, NetCDF, etc. Importing such data using various algorithms and programming languages, analyzing and visualizing them were major tasks of my scientific career. Data modeling, visualization, and presentation depend on the scientific question being asked. In this talk, I will present three examples that will show techniques I have used for data analysis, visualization and presentation. The first example is an analysis of the Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) data collected from the Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors installed over southern Nevada and Eastern. The GPS data was used to analyze motions of micro tectonic blocks and how the shapes of these blocks will change if the current rate of fault slip continues over the next several million years. The second example is the analysis of drill hole data which consists of geochemical assays at gold mines and accelerometer data obtained using measuring while drilling techniques at iron and coal mines. The last example is the analysis of the stratigraphic thickness of 4.6 million years old sedimentary strata to determine how flexural subsidence changed the shape of the basin and how it can affect our understanding of climate.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Sumant Jha is an experienced geoscientist with a career spanning 20 years in academia and industry. He has recently finished his Ph.D. in geophysics from Colorado State University where he analyzed the shape of the flexure basin around volcanic Ross Island in west Antarctica. Prior to Colorado State University, Dr. Jha finished his M.S. in Geophysics from University of Nevada Reno, and M.Sc. in Applied Geology from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India. He has worked in the mining sector and hazards modeling sector as a database coordinator and senior GIS Engineer. In the course of his work, he has become an experienced user of several data formats, programming languages like Matlab, Python and has presented his research at national and international conferences. He was awarded, among others, an Early career scientist travel grant by the Government of India and the National Science Foundation Polar section travel grant. Dr. Jha is a proponent of inclusive education and data accessibility. He lives in Mountain View, California.


Charuleka Varadharajan


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