08. February 2013 Getting Closer to the Real Earth

Dr. Marion Jegen named Honorary Lecturer for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Traveling into space has become nearly routine nowadays. Reaching deep into the centre of the earth is still impossible. Even the deepest scientific drillings only scrape the surface of the earth’s crust. When scientists want to learn more about the inside of the earth, they must use indirect methods. They use sonic instruments and interpret the differing reflections (seismology).


Or they measure the slightest fluctuations in gravity (gravimetrics); or use electromagnetic rays that tell something about the different rock strata. In order to make more general statements, they derive geological models from these measurement with which they can portray larger ranges of the underground.

One of the globally acknowledged experts in this area is the geophysicist Dr. Marion Jegen from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Together with her research team, she has developed a method that allows considerably more realistic geophysical models than before. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the largest worldwide association of practical geologists and geophysicists, has now invited Dr. Jegen to present her new method in the SEG Honorary Lectures in ten European countries.

In classical model development, geophysicists use only a single measuring method (for example seismological) and then search for an earth model that fits their results. Over the last few years, Dr Jegen and her team have developed algorithms with which the results from different measuring methods (for example seismologic, gravimetric and electromagnetic) can be interpreted simultaneously. The subsequent model calculations must fit with the results of all three measuring methods. “The more data incorporated in one model, the closer we can get to the real Earth,” explains Dr. Jegen. The idea sounds simple, yet it took many years to realize the concept technically. “Eight to nine years of programming by my team have been invested in this method,” says Dr. Jegen.

The first Honorary Lecture on this subject was given by Dr. Jegen this week at the University of Barcelona. Further lectures are planned in Dublin (Ireland), Edinburgh (Scotland), London (England), Prague (Czech Republic) and Copenhagen (Denmark). The SEG annually invites especially renowned representatives in the area of geophysics to report about the latest developments in their areas in the Honorary Lectures.

Dr. Marion Jegen has worked at GEOMAR since 2005. Here she leads the research group “Marine Electromagnetics”.

The SEG Honorary Lectures