Below are descriptions of the Geophysics sections to supplement general technical requirements and acceptability criteria espoused in the section on editorial policy. The sections are only an approximate guide for categorizing papers. A paper suitable for publication in Geophysics might not necessarily fit perfectly into any of the existing sections, or it might fit well into more than one section. Categories and their descriptions can change, based on the evolving interest in the exploration geophysics community.
A — Geophysics Letters
The Letters section accepts concise articles that report important scientific advances likely to have an immediate impact on the research of others. Letters will be restricted to four or fewer typeset pages, and the review and publication cycle typically will be less than eight months. The Geophysics Letters section caters to the applied-geophysics research community. Scientists from other fields but with important results or advances that will have a bearing on research in the broader field of the applied geophysical sciences also are encouraged to publish in the section.
Related Link: Review and Editing Procedures for Geophysics Letters
B — Case Histories
Case histories demonstrate, in comprehensive exploration settings, important applications of new geophysical techniques, workflows, or tools. Novel practical applications of existing processing or interpretation techniques to new exploration environments are also welcome.
Various other sections also might include case histories with appropriate emphasis. See, for example, the description of the "Interpretation Methods" section.
C — Amplitude Variation with Offset (AVO)
Papers in the "Amplitude Variation with Offset" category present new and significant methodologies and results on acquisition, processing, or interpretation of seismic-amplitude data for discerning properties of the subsurface. Also welcome are tutorials and case histories with clear, concise explanations of common or best practice for acquisition, processing, or interpretation of AVO information.
See also the descriptions of the "Interpretation Methods" section and the "Seismic Attributes and Pattern Recognition" section.
D — Anisotropy
The "Anisotropy" section invites contributions that discuss the importance of accounting for seismic anisotropy in exploration and development of oil and gas reservoirs. Papers could describe the influence of elastic anisotropy on seismic data as well as techniques for estimating anisotropy and building anisotropic velocity models of the subsurface. Also of interest are papers on laboratory measurements of anisotropy and theoretical developments aimed at establishing relationships between seismically observed anisotropy and its underlying physical causes, such as fine layering, fractures, or stresses. Case studies illustrating applicability of various techniques in real conditions are particularly welcome.
E — Borehole Geophysics and Rock Properties
Papers in this section fall into two separate but related areas. One area is borehole geophysics, dealing with measurements made in the borehole. These can be seismic (e.g., VSPs and crosswells), acoustic, EM, and other logging methods. Of interest are papers dealing with both the theory of measurements and the processing methodologies of those measurements. Also welcome are papers on integration of different types of downhole measurements to characterize the formation and on the critical role played by those measurements when integrated with other types of data.
Another area in this category of papers is rock properties, including measurement of rock properties, usually but not exclusively on cores. Also welcome are papers that deal with theoretical, computational, and empirical models of rocks and sediments that relate measurements to properties of the solid matrix, pore space and shape, fluids, and other pore-filling materials as well as variations of the properties with temperature, pressure/stress, and digenesis. The adequacy of the models to deal with multiple scale applications and different measurement frequencies is also of interest.
F — Electrical and Electromagnetic Methods
This section is intended for well-written, innovative, and self-contained papers relevant to exploration and production, near surface, mining, and other areas of applied geophysics. Articles must be founded on well-stated assumptions and must include a motivating introduction. Conclusions must be based firmly on reproducible scientific evidence presented in the paper.
A successful paper shall demonstrate significant potential to advance the current state of practice in electrical and electromagnetic geophysics in areas including but not limited to geologic interpretation, imaging and inversion, data processing, and forward modeling. Case histories, review papers, tutorials, and expositions are welcome, as are papers which integrate geologic, other geophysical, and petrophysical constraints.
G — Engineering and Environmental Geophysics
The "Engineering and Environmental Geophysics" section is committed to advancing the science of near-surface geophysics through rigorous, quantitative analysis methodologies. Papers are accepted on topics that include development of new theoretical concepts, new data-processing algorithms and strategies, methodological advances, and exemplary illustrations of new applications of existing methods. Authors are encouraged to include examples of field application in all papers. Pure case studies should be submitted to the "Case Histories" section.
H — Geophysical Software and Algorithms
"Geophysical Software and Algorithms" papers must describe a useful algorithm for solving a problem of geophysical significance. Papers should describe a problem, how the algorithm is meant to solve the problem, and the workings of the algorithm itself. Readable and well-documented source code must be included as part of the submission, along with sufficient supporting files to allow computer-literate readers to run and verify the code.
The source code and supporting documentation do not need to be included in the text of the paper itself but will be reviewed as an integral part of the submission. The problem description, solution method, algorithm, and source code might each have been published elsewhere before, but the combination of all of them together should represent a new and unpublished contribution. The paper must follow the format of the paper described in the August 2005 issue of Geophysics, written by Joe Dellinger.
Related Link: Guidelines for Geophysical Software and Algorithms Papers
I — Gravity Exploration Methods
The "Gravity Exploration Methods" section will consider papers on theory, interpretation methods, and applications for a broad range of geophysical gravity problems — from problems helping with direct exploration to those illustrating how geologic and even deep-earth parameters might influence near-surface observed gravity. With few exceptions, applications illustrating the use of methods on real data sets will be necessary.
Papers containing small, step improvements on previous methods are not encouraged but could be considered when significant level of improvements have been achieved. Papers containing only case histories of the gravity method should be submitted to the "Case Histories" section.
J — Ground-Penetrating Radar
In this section, papers should show new ideas and methods for using GPR techniques in surface and subsurface applications. This includes all advancements in modeling, acquisition, processing, imaging, inversion, characterization, and monitoring methodologies and techniques. These can be applied generally or developed specifically for a certain type of application. Also welcome are ideas for new applications as well as demonstrations of newly developed applications.
Papers must represent significant advances in GPR theory, equipment, methodology, modeling, applications, and/or pitfalls. With few exceptions, application of GPR advances to real problems should be illustrated. Interesting GPR case studies will be considered but generally will be more appropriate for the "Case Histories" section.
K — Interpretation Methods
Why do we need a section for interpretation methods? ("Interpretation" was part of the "AVO and Interpretation" section until 2007.) Many processing and interpretation geophysicists and even some research geophysicists from the industry find that Geophysics articles are not strongly relevant to their work. The technical work of interpreters and the advance in interpretation techniques undoubtedly can benefit from peer review and rigorous accountable technical exchange. Geophysics is the journal of, by, and for exploration geophysicists. Broad participation by mainstream practicing geophysicists is arguably an important measure of the journal’s impact to the exploration geophysics community.
This section is intended for papers on new ideas, methodologies, and geophysical principles for interpretation. New interpretive processing algorithms and workflows are also welcome. This section places emphasis on specific interpretation techniques based on geophysical data or principles, whereas papers in the "Case Histories" section may use interpretation as a step in more comprehensive settings.
L — Magnetic Exploration Methods
"Magnetic Exploration Methods" papers should include the use of magnetic data and methods in solving exploration problems, either alone or in conjunction with other geophysical data and methods such as gravity and seismic. New technology in magnetic data acquisition, compilation, processing, enhancements, and interpretation, as well as innovative improvement of existing methods and technology, also are considered. Also welcome are case histories that involve integration of magnetics with gravity, seismic, and geology, as well as tutorials on established magnetic techniques and applications.
M — Mining Geophysics
Papers in this section must be strongly relevant to mineral exploration and mining. Leading-edge technology should be demonstrated or the paper should demonstrate a new understanding of physical properties of a mineral target gained by using conventional geophysical methods. The study area should be of strong interest to explorationists. Data must clearly support the conclusions.
N — Poroelasticity
This section is intended for papers on mechanical and physical properties of fluid-saturated porous rocks and soils and on mathematical and physical modeling of those properties. The papers can be on new theoretical, numerical, or experimental developments in an area with demonstrated relevance to geophysical technology or on application of poroelastic models to forward or inverse modeling of geophysical response of poroelastic rocks. Case studies involving application of those models are also welcome.
O — Reservoir Geophysics
This section is for papers that show new approaches to defining properties and processes that occur in reservoirs. This can include use of geophysical methods in combination with data and methods from other disciplines, such as well sensing, and dynamic and static property modeling. These data can include well-log data, seismic data, EM data, gravity, magnetic, microseismic used for defining reservoir parameters, and/or time-lapse changes caused by various natural and man-made processes. Also welcome are papers on improvements in defining and reducing the uncertainty of estimates by using better techniques or better constraining data.
P — Seismic Attributes and Pattern Recognition
This section accepts papers on new theories and algorithms with applications for extracting attributes from seismic data and associating them with rock properties, structures (faults, channels, etc.), and anomalies of the subsurface to aid seismic volume interpretation. Contributions on methodologies and case histories are welcome.
Q — Seismic Data Acquisition
This section includes papers that emphasize acquisition aspects of seismically characterizing the subsurface in marine, land, and borehole environments. Topics include design and execution of 2D, 3D, 4D, and passive seismic surveys, new acquisition equipment, novel uses of existing equipment, and the impact of acquisition-related factors on subsurface uncertainty. In addition to papers that address traditional acquisition issues, those that investigate the processing and interpretation implications of acquisition are encouraged.
R — Seismic Inversion
The "Seismic Inversion" section accepts papers on new inversion algorithms and methodologies for extractions of subsurface model parameters using seismic data. Contributions can include but are not limited to new inversion strategies, computational methods for large-scale inverse problems, model representations and parameterizations, practical inversion workflows, and joint inversions of multiple data types.
S — Seismic Migration
Contributions to the "Seismic Migration" section should contain new algorithms, approaches, and principles for seismic imaging. Those include papers that demonstrate the use of new seismic modeling techniques and computational strategies for improved imaging quality and efficiency. Also welcome are contributions on noise (or unwanted signal) reduction, signal enhancements (primaries, multiples, conversions, etc.), and strategies for maximizing the extraction of input information and for optimization of postmigration processing (e.g., AVO and velocity analysis) in the imaging procedures.
T — Seismic Modeling and Wave Propagation
This section is for papers that propose new methodologies for modeling and simulating seismic wave propagation. The papers should advance the understanding of propagating waves and/or propagation media. Contributions in computational methods, physical modeling techniques, strategies for approximating wave equations, and representations of waves and media are all welcome. Papers that demonstrate applications of seismic modeling and wave propagation for data acquisition, processing, and interpretation are appropriate also.
U — Seismic Velocity/Statics
This section is intended for papers on new theories, algorithms, and methodologies for understanding or reconstructing velocities for seismic wave propagation. Contributions can include but are not limited to velocity inversion strategies, computational methods for large-scale inverse problems, velocity model representations and parameterizations, laboratory measurements, empirical relations, practical inversion workflows, and joint inversions for velocities using multiple data types. Papers on velocity parameterizations also may account for anisotropy, absorption, and other effects. Papers on velocity tomography/inversion can be based on unmigrated, migrated, well, gravity, magnetic, and/or other data types.
V — Signal Processing
This section is for papers that describe and demonstrate new approaches related to general processing aspects of geophysical data. These include papers on separating wanted and unwanted signal (e.g., noise), improving the signal-to-noise ratio of geophysical data, and isolating, modeling, and filtering coherent noise. Also encouraged are contributions dealing with data incompleteness that arises from irregular and/or suboptimal sampling of measurements and removing the imprint of an acquisition system on geophysical data. In addition, the section can include contributions on resolution enhancement and image processing techniques and their application to improve interpretability of geophysical models.
W — Tutorials and Expository Discussions
Why is there a need for expository discussions? Busy authors may find it easier to write a short article to share insights and problems. The articles do not have to be as comprehensive as a tutorial or case history. They can focus on one concept or one processing step or illustrate one technical point. Employers who are sensitive to proprietary technology and/or data may approve such articles for publication more readily than full-blown descriptions of geophysical methods or case histories. Papers that illustrate intuitively existing highly mathematical work can be useful expository discussions that improve accessibility of the journal.
Tutorials should be written by authors who can write clearly about geophysical technologies in their field that have been developed to some degree of maturity.
X — Discussions
Y — Errata