AfricaArray Field School – Day 18 – MeerCAT Ladies and (even more) processing

This morning we had a very interesting talk from two consulting geophysicists, who formed a company named MeerCAT. (I can not find a website for some reason, but will try and add it if I come across it. The closest I have is a (LinkedIn profile)[https://za.linkedin.com/pub/lindsay-linzer-nee-andersen/6/b60/b79].) Something slightly unusual about this consulting company is that both the people running it (and who make up the whole staff, in fact) are women: Lindsay Linzer and Jeanne Trickett. The talk mostly focused on how they had arrived where they had, through the CSIR and other institutions before striking out on their own. There was also some discussion on what geophysicists can expect if they work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

The question and answer session was really good. There was some good advice regarding how consultants in South Africa are working, as well as talk about what gaps exist. Notably, (and this came up a couple times during the field school as well) the various engineering fields could really benefit from knowing more about what geophysics can offer them. Some of this comes from the mining industry (sinking shafts, seismic information on rock mechanics). This would mostly be for civil and geotechnical engineering, but I suspect that there is some good potential in structural engineering as well.

Most of the day however, was spent on the preparation of our presentations tomorrow. For this, each group will try and answer something about a particular scientific question (which could have been better defined, but that was also on us, not to really think about it too much and arrange which group was going to try answering what). We are talking about the variance that different ways of using the equipment can create. Examples here are different geophone frequencies, the effect of different EM equipment (EM31 vs EM34), a comparison of the effect that different array configurations have on resistivity, and how the resistivity and seismic methods behave when looking at similar structures.

The EM work was slightly complicated by the fact that we only got told about inversion modelling software today, so I doubt that anyone else is really using any of that. Still, looking forward to presenting tomorrow, which will be the last bit of work that caps a pretty intense few weeks.