Sherif Hanafy

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Sherif Hanafy
MSc Geophysics
PhD Geophysics
BSc university Cairo University
MSc university Cairo University
PhD university Kiel University

Sherif M. Hanafy received a BSc (Cairo University, 1993), a MSc (Cairo University, 1996), and a PhD (Kiel University, 2002) in Geophysics. He received a PhD scholarship (1999) from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Germany and a Fulbright fellowship (2004) to pursue postdoctoral studies at the University of Utah. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Geophysics at King Fahd University, Saudi Arabia. He teaches labs for geophysical field methods, seismic interferometry, traveltime tomography, early arrival tomography, data interpolation/extrapolation, and shallow application of resistivity and GPR methods. He was a Senior Research Scientist at King Abdullah University between 2009 and 2018, a Postdoctoral Fellow and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Utah between 2004 and 2007, and an Assistant Professor at Cairo University between 2002 and 2009. Hanafy has more than 25 years of experience in academia and 12 years of co-operation with industry as a member of the UTAM and CSIM consortiums. During this time, he co-authored more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals and more than 60 expanded abstracts for international conferences. Hanafy’s research interests include geophysical field methods, seismic interferometry, traveltime tomography, early-arrival tomography, seismic modeling, seismic inversion and migration, data interpolation/extrapolation, shallow applications of resistivity and GPR methods, and recently, machine learning.

2017 SEG Honorary Lecturer, Middle East and Africa

Inverting every type of arrival for near-surface imaging

In the past, imaging of the near surface by seismic surveys usually was restricted to inverting just one type of arrival, e.g. refraction traveltimes for 2D P-velocity tomograms or dispersion curves for 1D S-velocity models. The advent of multigigaflop laptop computers, cheaper channel counts, and dense recording arrays now allow for the inversion of almost every type of arrival in the seismic records. In this presentation, I will show how the modern methods of seismic interferometry, waveform inversion, and multidimensional surface-wave inversion can be used to effectively invert almost every type of arrival for shallow seismic imaging. I will present examples that show how (a) “super virtual interferometry” can double more than the offset of useable first-arrivals in refraction inversion by enhancing the SNR of far-offset traces, (b) “full waveform inversion” inverts the diving waves and refractions to give high-resolution P-velocity images, (c) “parsimonious seismic interferometry” decreases the acquisition time of refraction and surface-wave surveys by at least one order-of-magnitude, and (d) multidimensional inversion of surface-wave dispersion curves provides high-resolution estimates of the 2D shear-velocity tomogram to a depth of about the longest shear wavelength. I will present field data examples for hydrology applications, fault detection and earthquake hazards, and estimation of statics. All of these inversion methods can now be used for a single seismic survey with a sufficiently dense recording geometry.

Additional Resource

A recording of the lecture is available.[1]


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Sherif Hanafy
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