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William Harbert

University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D. Geophysics, Stanford University, 1987

Dr. William Harbert received his MS in Exploration Geophysics and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford University. He then completed a National Research Council (NRC) post-doctoral  Research Associate appointment with the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. He was also an Exchange Scientist between the US Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Академия Наук СССР) during one of the last years of this program. He was a Gestattungsvertrag, within the Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, at Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften, Fachrichtung Geophysik, Freie Universität Berlin.  He was a R&D 100 Award Winner for National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) Toolset, working on a United States Department of Energy National Laboratory Team.
He also received recognition of technical work published, Christopher A. Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, United States Department of Energy.  He was appointed and served as a Full Voting Member, Governor’s Commission on Mine Voids and Mine Safety.  Investigate Mine Voids and Mine Safety, which held public hearings, and completed a detailed report for the Governor of Pennsylvania.
He was a member, Academic Advisory Committee to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) on the assessment of geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. He also served for several years on the Science Advisory Board Voting Member, In Salah Gas CO2 Storage JIP.  This involved thoroughly reviewing a complex North African field project and submitting report to the JIP. He is a life-time member of SEG, a registered professional petroleum geophysicist and member of AAPG and SPE. He has been a DOE ORISE Research Associate and a Resident Institute Fellow of the NETL-Institute for Advanced Energy Solution (IAES). He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the In Salah CO2 Injection Project facilitated by British Petroleum and was also on an Altarock Review Board, which focused on an enhanced geothermal power project funded by the United States Department of Energy.


Dr. Harbert’s research focus includes the geomechanical analysis of microseismicity in organic shale, advanced seismic processing and interpretation related to subsurface imaging and analysis, and a rock physics-based determination of dynamic acoustic and mechanical properties of geologic units. He has also been involved with environmental geophysical technologies relevant to remote subsurface water quality and topology analysis.  He and his students and collaborators are actively work on the application of Deep Learning methods to seismic emissions and geophysical object detection and classification. The research of this group is the analysis of microseismic, reflection seismic, VSP and fluid and structure using advanced processing and attributes. The group works to accurately image surface geometry using geophysical techniques and advanced geophysical processing. The goal of this research is to better understand subsurface structures, subsurface pore filling phases and topologies and dynamic processes at a variety of scales, from micro computer tomography (CT) scale to log response scale, to vertical seismic profile and cross well tomography scales and surface seismic response scale.

Most Cited Publications

1. "Evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk Ocean as constrained by new palaeomagnetic data from the Mongol-Okhotsk suture zone", Siberia
VA Kravchinsky, JP Cogné, WP Harbert, MI Kuzmin, Geophysical Journal International 148 (1), 34-57 (2002)
2. "Late Neogene motion of the Pacific plate" W Harbert, A Cox, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 94 (B3), 3052-3064 (1989)
3. "Late Neogene relative motions of the Pacific and North America plates", W Harbert, Tectonics 10 (1), 1-15 (1991)
4. "Plate motions recorded in tectonostratigraphic terranes of the Franciscan Complex and evolution of the Mendocino triple junction, northwestern California", RJ McLaughlin, WV Sliter, NO Frederiksen, WP Harbert, DS McCulloch, US Geological Survey Bulletin 1997 (1994)
5. "An evaluation of fracture growth and gas/fluid migration as horizontal Marcellus Shale gas wells are hydraulically fractured in Greene County, Pennsylvania",R Hammack, W Harbert, S Sharma, B Stewart, R Capo, A Wall, National Energy Technology Laboratory: NETL-TRS-3-2014, 76 (2014)

Recent Publications

1. Wang, Z., Dilmore, R. M., & Harbert, W. (2019). Machine Learning for Leakage Detection at CO 2 Sequestration Sites: Inferring CO 2 Saturation from Synthetic Surface Seismic and Downhole Monitoring Data. AGUFM, 2019, S31E-0579.
2. Larsen, D. J., Crump, S. E., Abbott, M. B., Harbert, W., Blumm, A., Wattrus, N. J., & Hebberger, J. J. (2019). Paleoseismic evidence for climatic and magmatic controls on the Teton fault, WY. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(22), 13036-13043.
3. Shi, Z., Sun, L., Haljasmaa, I., Harbert, W., Sanguinito, S., Tkach, M., ... & Jessen, K. (2019). Impact of Brine/CO2 exposure on the transport and mechanical properties of the Mt Simon sandstone. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 177, 295-305.
4. Kumar, A., Zorn, E., Hammack, R., & Harbert, W. (2019). Long-period, long-duration seismic events and their probable role in reservoir stimulation and stage productivity. SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 22(02), 441-457.
5. Zorn, E., Kumar, A., Harbert, W., & Hammack, R. (2019). Geomechanical analysis of microseismicity in an organic shale: A West Virginia Marcellus Shale example. Interpretation, 7(1), T231-T239.