Matthew Haney

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Matthew Haney
Matt Haney headshot.jpg
PhD university Colorado School of Mines

Matthew M. Haney is receiving the J. Clarence Karcher Award for his significant contributions to the science and technology of exploration geophysics. Haney received his Ph.D. from Colorado School of Mines in 2005, where he worked primarily under Professor Roel Snieder in the Center for Wave Phenomena (CWP). The principal scientific contribution from his Ph.D. was work, done jointly under the guidance of Jon Sheiman at Shell and Snieder, that deals with the seismic pression of fault characteristics and which resulted in a publication in Nature. Haney has published eight scholarly papers over a wide range of topics in prestigious journals. Three more papers have already been accepted or are under review, and six additional papers are in preparation. Matt is currently working at the Alaska Volcano Observatory where he won a highly competitive USGS Mendenhall postdoctoral appointment.

Biography Citation for the J. Clarence Karcher Award

Contributed by Roel Snieder

Matt Haney did his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Colorado School of Mines en route to a Ph.D. During his time as a graduate student, he carried out research along parallel lines, as he worked on multiple scattering of waves, signal processing of magnetic data, and on seismic reflections from fault zones.

Matt?s work on multiple scattering is diverse and innovative. His main contribution was showing that, contrary to common belief, the energy associated with multiply scattered waves does not always propagate diffusively. He showed that loops in scattering paths produce an interference akin to the coherent backscattering effect that leads to changes in the energy propagation. This work was published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters.

With Misac Nabighian and Yaoguo Li, Matt carried out projects on the processing of magnetic data in the presence of remanent magnetization and the extension of the analytic signal concept to 3D. With colleagues of the physical acoustics laboratory, Matt was involved in ultrasound experiments to measure wave scattering and anisotropy in natural rocks and analogues.

The core of Matt?s work was carried out, in collaboration with Jon Sheiman at the Shell Laboratory in Houston, on fault-zone reflected waves. Matt showed with synthetic tests that P-waves reflected off fault zones carry information about the fault-zone properties. He applied this idea to seismic data recorded at the South Eugene Island Field and showed that fault-zone reflections correlate well with pore pressure contrast across faults. This is a clear diagnostic that these faults are sealing. Matt found that the highest pore pressure, as predicted by the fault zone reflected waves, occurred at the location where the fault was intersected by a borehole that blew out when the fault was intersected. Through a search of time-lapse data of fault-zone reflected waves, Matt found evidence of a fluid pulse propagating updip along one of the fault zones in South Eugene Island. He related this observation to theoretical models for fluid migration along fault zones, and to oil seeps at the ocean floor in this area. This work attracted much interest in the geoscience community, because the transport of heat by fluids is speculated to explain the discrepancy between fault slip and heat flow at the San Andreas Fault. Matt?s work was published in Nature.

Since his graduation, Matt has continued his exceptional high productivity while working on 3D numerical modeling with David Aldridge at Sandia National Laboratory. He recently published, with CSM-alumnus Kasper van Wijk, (currently at Boise State University), in Physics Review E a paper on modifications to the theory of radiative transfer that accounts for the localization of waves. This is a hot topic in the physics community.

Matt's work is characterized by a unique combination of breadth and depth. Despite his young age, he has worked with seismic data, ultrasound measurements, numerical techniques, magnetic fields, and contributed with theoretical work as well. This versatility is due to a unique combination of well-developed technical skills with a playful and inquisitive mind. His ability to integrate the depth and breadth of his activities makes him unique among his peers.

Apart from his research skills, Matt has exceptional didactic and interpersonal skills. He simply loves explaining research to others, and does so in a transparent way without unnecessary complications. Matt has a wonderful sense of humor, and a genuine and deep interests in those around him. His combination of professional and personal skills and interest allows him to contribute in the most important way---by leaving a lasting imprint and by touching others.