Research Profile: Rajesh Vayavur

December 09, 2013

Rajesh Vayavur has been interested in the study of the Earth since his childhood, when his father worked for a coal mining company in India.

Rajesh's research project for his Master's of Technology in Mineral Exploration involved the seismic data processing and modelling for identification of gas hydrates along India's offshore waters. For that project, he prepared the first Gas Hydrate Stability Thickness (GHST) updated map of India since 1998, prepared contour maps of heat flow, geothermal gradient, sea bottom temperature, and bathymetry maps.

He then worked as a Project Assistant in India's National Geophysical Research Institute. The highlight of his time there was participating in a Russian Marine cruise (Akademik Fersman) for fine grid multichannel seismic reflection data acquisition for gas hydrate exploration in the Mahanadi Basin.

In 2011, he joined SFU's Department of Earth Sciences as a PhD student to study exploration seismology under the supervision of Dr. Andrew J. Calvert.

The main objective of Rajesh's doctoral research is to image the subsurface to try to resolve deep seated strike-slip fault patterns (eg. Denali fault, Kaltag fault) extended from Alaska, to study shallow sedimentary structures for faults, and to explore for natural resources by using travel-time and waveform tomography.

He says, "I intend to continue working on cutting edge technology like waveform tomography and related technologies in order to gain more precise information about the subsurface geology. The use of these technologies, which have proved their capability of providing high resolution images of the subsurface, could lead to a more efficient oil and gas recovery, causing less harm to the environment."

To date, he's received two significant honours in his PhD career: He was one of only 30 students from North America who was selected to participate in the Society of Exploration Geophysics/ExxonMobil Student Education Program in 2012, and he received the Petro-Canada Graduate scholarship for 2013–2014.

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