Geophysical imaging, inversion and time-lapse monitoring of the Earth’s subsurface.

Geophysics is the study of the earth, oceans, atmosphere and beyond with the quantitative methods of physics, math and computer science.  Professor Lumley’s research expertise is in 3D, and time-lapse 4D, geophysical imaging of the Earth’s subsurface, especially using seismic waves, with societal benefits that include energy exploration and production, CO2 injection and storage (geo-sequestration), earthquake seismology, and natural geo-hazards.

Professor Lumley’s research interests encompass a broad range of geophysics challenges related to subsurface characterization and monitoring of the Earth.  In collaboration with local and international colleagues, his team focuses on the complex challenges associated with subsurface energy exploration and recovery, unconventional energy resources, plate tectonics and earthquake seismicity, natural geo-hazards, and geophysical aspects of environment and climate change.

His research is funded by both industry and government organizations.  He has been a Chief Investigator (CI) on over $120 million in competitive research grants to date.  Research funding sources include energy industry corporations, national and state governments, WA DMP, ARC, EIF, US-NSF, US-DOE, US-DOD and the US National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Lumley’s research team consists of a mix of postdoctoral research staff, PhD and MSc students, with backgrounds in geophysics, physics, engineering, applied math and computer science. Their research interests range from large-scale plate tectonic and sedimentary basin processes, to nano-scale pore fluid and rock physics phenomena, and a wide range of geophysical research challenges in the scales between.

Their areas of research expertise include:

  • Geophysical Imaging – especially 3D seismic in complex structural and stratigraphic areas
  • Geophysical Monitoring – especially time-lapse 4D seismic to monitor subsurface fluid flow, and passive monitoring of natural and induced seismicity
  • Computational Geoscience – using the world’s largest supercomputers to perform HPC geoscience modelling, imaging and inversion research
  • CO2 Sequestration – CCS site characterization and monitoring to sequester CO2 in an environmentally sustainable way, ref. our new CO2 Processing and Sequestration Laboratory

The team enjoys research collaborations with academic, government and industry colleagues across Australia, and with world-class international universities and research laboratories.


  • Stanford University
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Chevron Research
  • CGG Research