Boris Gurevich

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Boris Gurevich
Boris Gurevich headshot 2021.gif
MSc Geophysics
PhD Exploration Geophysics
MSc university Moscow State University
PhD university Institute of Geosystems, Moscow

Boris Gurevich has an MSc in Exploration Geophysics from Moscow State University (1976) and a PhD from Institute of Geosystems, Moscow, Russia (1988), where he began his research career (1981–1994). In 1995–2000 he was a research scientist at the Geophysical Institute of Israel, where he focused mainly on diffraction imaging problems. Since 2001, he has been a professor of geophysics at Curtin University and advisor to CSIRO (Perth, Western Australia). At Curtin he has served as Head of Department of Exploration Geophysics (2010–2015) and since 2004 as Director of the Curtin Reservoir Geophysics Consortium. He has served on editorial boards of Geophysics, Journal of Seismic Exploration, and Wave Motion. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and has more than 100 journal publications in the areas of rock physics, poroelasticity, seismic theory, modeling, imaging, and monitoring of CO2 geosequestration. His research achievements include development of advanced theoretical models of seismic attenuation and dispersion in heterogeneous porous rocks. Gurevich was awarded the SEG Reginald Fessenden Award in 2021 and was selected as the SEG Honorary Lecturer in 2019.

The 2021 SEG Reginald Fessenden Award [1]

Boris Gurevich is recognized by the Reginald Fessenden Award for his technical contributions to rock physics, in particular to the theory of seismic attenuation and dispersion in fluid-saturated porous rocks. This subject is of major importance in applied geophysics because attenuation and dispersion significantly influence seismic amplitudes and waveforms. This understanding of wave propagation in attenuative media is vital to the characterization of rocks and fluids from seismic data.

Biography Citation for the 2021 SEG Reginald Fessenden Award

by Serge Shapiro and Ilya Tsvankin

Boris Gurevich has been among the most prominent rock physicists in the SEG community for a long time, and his influential work richly deserves to be recognized by the Fessenden Award. Boris received his PhD in 1988 from the Institute of Geosystems in Moscow, Russia. He joined Curtin University in Perth, Australia, in 2001, and there he currently serves as John Curtin Distinguished Professor and director of the Centre for Exploration Geophysics and of the Curtin Reservoir Geophysics Consortium.

Boris has made a number of key contributions to the development of rigorous theoretical models of seismic attenuation and dispersion within the framework of the poroelasticity theory. In particular, together with his colleagues and students, he has devised a comprehensive theory of seismic dissipation due to wave-induced flow of pore fluids caused by spatial heterogeneities in rock compliance, such as fractures or gas patches. In recent years, Boris' team has also developed a new theoretical model for attenuation and dispersion caused by pore-scale fluid-pressure relaxation between pores and compliant grain contacts, also known as squirt flow. They have extended this model to rocks saturated with solid and viscoelastic substances, such as heavy oil.

Another important recent contribution of Boris' team is derivation of the rigorous bounds on attenuation and dispersion in fluid-saturated rocks. This result provides a useful recipe for quality control of experimental measurements and theoretical estimates of attenuation and dispersion in porous media.

While most of Boris' scientific contributions are theoretical, he appreciates the value of experimental data and always strives to bring rock physics closer to applications. To this end, he has founded a rock physics laboratory at Curtin University, which is well known for developing new efficient ways of measuring rock properties. Boris also cooperates closely with his university colleagues and industrial partners in developing innovative ways of using seismic amplitudes for subsurface characterization and monitoring.

The significance of Boris's research lies in the fact that attenuation is ubiquitous in the subsurface. However, it is still largely ignored in seismic exploration or treated as a nuisance that needs to be compensated for. Yet it has been clear for some time that attenuation is controlled by the pore fluid and hydraulic properties of rocks. Whereas dissipation-related seismic attributes are sometimes employed in seismic interpretation and reservoir characterization, this is mostly done in an empirical and qualitative manner. Theoretical models of frequency-dependent attenuation and dispersion spearheaded by Boris help establish quantitative links between observations and material properties. This should lead to improved geophysical characterization and monitoring of fluid-saturated reservoirs in exploration and production of energy and water resources, as well as in geologic storage of CO2. Many of Boris' results are summarized in an upcoming book (coauthored by José Carcione) to be published by SEG.

Boris is always generous in sharing his keen scientific insights, not just with his peers but also with students. Despite carrying a large administrative load at Curtin, he devotes a lot of time to student mentoring and advising. In 2019, he took time from his research to tour the Asia-Pacific region as an SEG Honorary Lecturer. Boris is one of the most outgoing people we have ever met and has a great sense of humor that comes in handy even in heated scientific discussions. We are looking forward to his future contributions!

"Boris Gurevich, 2015"

2019 SEG Honorary Lecturer, Pacific South

Seismic attenuation, dispersion and anisotropy in porous rocks: Mechanisms and models

Understanding and modeling of attenuation of elastic waves in fluid-saturated rocks is important for a range of geophysical technologies that utilize seismic, acoustic, or ultrasonic amplitudes. A major cause of elastic wave attenuation is viscous dissipation due to the flow of the pore fluid induced by the passing wave. Wave-induced fluid flow occurs as a passing wave creates local pressure gradients within the fluid phase and the resulting fluid flow is accompanied with internal friction until the pore pressure is equilibrated. The fluid flow can take place on various length scales: for example, from compliant fractures into the equant pores (so-called squirt flow), or between mesoscopic heterogeneities like fluid patches in partially saturated rocks. A common feature of these mechanisms is heterogeneity of the pore space, such as fractures, compliant grain contacts, or fluid patches. Using theoretical calculations and experimental data, we will explore how this heterogeneity affects attenuation, dispersion, and anisotropy of porous rocks. I will outline a consistent theoretical approach that quantifies these phenomena and discuss rigorous bounds for attenuation and dispersion.

Additional Resource

A recording of the lecture is available.[2]


  1. 2021. Honors and Awards. The Leading Edge 40(11), 786–864.

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Boris Gurevich
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