Ken Larner is an American geophysicist. He is currently Professor Emeritus of the Center for Wave Phenomena at the Department of Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines . Larner was the 1988-1989 SEG President.
Ken Larner received the degree of Geophysical Engineer from the Colorado School of Mines in 1960 and a Ph.D. in geophysics from MIT in 1970, after serving in Vietnam in the U.S. Army. He joined Western Geophysical Company as a senior research geophysicist in 1970 and, in August 1988, left his position as Western's vice president for geophysical research to become the Charles Henry Green Professor of Exploration Geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines.
Ken Larner is a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAEG), and Canadian Association of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG). He is also a member of geophysical societies of Houston (past first vice president and Honorary Member) and Denver. He received the 1988 Conrad Schlumberger Award of the European Association of Exploration Geophysicists and, in 1990, the Medal of the Society of Venezuelan Geophysicists.
At the 1996 SEG Annual Meeting in Denver, he received the SEG's Maurice Ewing Medal, its highest award. That same year, he was inducted as a Foreign Fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was the Spring 1988 SEG Distinguished Lecturer, and a 2000-2001 Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers. His research interests include all aspects of seismic data processing, which these days relate to many aspects of acquisition and interpretation.
Biography Citation for the Maurice Ewing Medal 1996
Sometimes geophysics is just plain fun! -Ken Larner
This quote, from one of Ken Larner's numerous presentations, sticks well in our minds nearly 15 years after it was delivered. Although the particular context was cascaded finite-difference migration, this quote typifies Ken's attitude and enthusiasm throughout his career even to this day.
We first met Ken during his previous career as the leader of the geophysical research group at Western Geophysical. In addition to his enthusiasm, we were continually amazed at his uncanny knack to analyze a problem, ask the right questions, bracket the possible causes, and zero-in on a solution. Not one to leave anything to assumption or speculation, he showed no hesitation to delve into the intricate details of a problem, often uncovering simple truths. It is uncommon to find a person with such scientific adeptness who is also to write and articulate complex ideas in simple and understandable ways. Yet those of us who have worked with Ken know his deep commitment to convey information in the most lucid and straightforward way.
During his tenure at Western, the exploration geophysics industry evolved and matured in many ways. Seismic data processing was no small part of this evolution, and Ken was instrumental in discovering and influencing many of the processes we now take for granted. Deconvolution, noise and multiple attenuation, dip-move out correction, statics corrections, and migration (2-D and 3-D, post stack and prestack, time and depth) are a few of the key areas that have Ken's imprint on them. More important, however, Ken has always been one to share in credit due. This trait, coupled with his ability to motivate and install confidence among his colleagues, multiplied the contributions that his research teams have developed over the years.
In his present career as the occupant of the Charles Henry Green Chair of Exploration Geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines, he brings his insightful and focused perspective to the industry-sponsored consortium Center for Wave Phenomena. Today, he continues to inspire young professionals during their academic careers and prepares them to be major contributors to advancements in exploration seismology yet to come - specifically in seismic anisotropy and seismic imaging.
Early Years and Education
Born in Chicago, Illinois, on 1 November 1938, Ken Lamer received a geophysical engineer's degree from CSM in 1960 and a Ph.D. in geophysics from MIT in 1970. He joined Western Geophysical Company as a senior research geophysicist in the same year. He then became manager of the geophysical research group in 1975 and vice president for geophysical research in 1979. After 18 years in the seismic industry, he returned to his CSM, his alma mater, to take the Green chair. Ken presently is co-director of the Center for Wave Phenomena Research Consortium at CSM, which is sponsored by 34 companies in the oil and gas industry.
Ken has served the Society in many ways, including two terms on the Executive Committee, as First Vice-President in 1979-80 and President in 1988-89. His other professional society memberships include EAGE, CSEG, and the Houston and Dallas geophysical societies. He is also a member of Sigma Xi. CSM appropriately recognized his professional eminence early in his career--Ken received its Distinguished Achievement Award in 1981. Soon after returning to his alma mater in 1988, CSM honored him as a great educator; he received the President's Award as CSM's Outstanding Educator in 1992.
Because of his stature as a scholar and professional, Ken has often been called upon for membership in scientific committees and to provide his advice to professional organizations. He has been, since 1985, a representative to the Program for the Array Seismological Study of the Continental Lithosphere. He served as General Chairman for the First Latin American Geophysical Congress in Rio de Janeiro in 1990 and for the joint SEG-China Petroleum Society Meeting in Beijing in 1985. In fact, he was a member of the first SEG delegation to China in 1979. He is the editor of the SEG monograph Interval Velocities from Seismic Reflection Time Measurements. He served on the OTC's Technical Program Committee in 1979-80. Ken was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Seismology during the period 1985-89, the Subcommittee on Data Problems in Seismology and Committee on Seismology in 1980-82. Other advisory roles include membership on the Gas Research Institute Seismic Technical Advisory Group (1993-present); visiting and advisory committees for the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University (1987-90); Department of Geology and Geophysics, Rice University (1985-88), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, MIT (1984-88). Ken has also been on the steering committee for several industry-sponsored university projects including the Seismic Acoustic Laboratory at the University of Houston (1982-83), Stanford Exploration Project (1978-79), and the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Standing Committee Program for the Array Seismological Study of the Continental Lithosphere (1984-86). Ken also served on the Advisory Board of the Association for Women Geoscientists (1988 89).
Ken Larner---outstanding teacher, scholar, supervisor, and great practitioner--has become a familiar name in the geophysical community. We are honored to have shared many years working with and knowing Ken. It gives us great pleasure to now see him justly honored for all his contributions to exploration seismology with, most appropriately, the Society's highest award, the Maurice Ewing Gold Medal.
Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1989
Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1987
SEG Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting Award 1978
SEG Best Paper in Geophysics Award 1976
SEG Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting Award 1975
Ken Larner received 1975 Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting Award for his paper Automatic residual statics analysis using the general linear inverse method.
- Department of Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines: Faculty
- Larner, K., Beasley, C., and Lynn, W., 1989, In quest of the flank: Geophysics, 54, no. 6, 701-717.
- Larner, K., and Beasley, C., 1987, Cascaded migration: Improving the accuracy of finite-difference migration: Geophysics, 52, no. 5, 618-643.
- Wiggins, R. A., K. Larner, and R. D. Wisecup, 1977, Residual static analysis as a general linear inverse problem: Geophysics, 41, no. 5, 922-938.