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The Leading Edge special sections

The Leading Edge calls for papers

Read The Leading Edge

The Leading Edge publishes special sections covering all aspects of applied geophysics and related disciplines. Submission of special-section articles is open to all. Please send articles to the special-section editor. TLE Editorial Board coordinators work with special-section editors to coordinate and support the review process and may also serve as editors.  

Read more about The Leading Edge.

Submit an article to the The Leading Edge.

North Sea

The North Sea is one of the world’s most active regions for oil and gas and is starting to become a global example of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology. This special section will focus on regional challenges and case studies from the region.

Engineering geophysics

The domain of engineering geophysics covers a wide variety of topics that are extremely relevant for our society — a society that keeps growing and developing in a dynamic environment with changing boundary conditions.

The growing population requires new types of infrastructure, buildings, and use of the subsurface. Increasing energy demands require continuous improvement of imaging techniques to better understand subsurface resources and to maximize production in an environmentally safe manner. Climate change in combination with rapid population growth puts increasing pressure on freshwater resources and groundwater systems. Many subdisciplines and areas within geophysics are and should be involved in tackling these global challenges.

As such, the field of engineering geophysics covers much more than traditional near-surface methodologies. In this special section, we invite contributions covering the breadth of engineering geophysics, with topics including, but certainly not limited to: engineering geophysical methods, hydrogeophysics, geotechnical engineering, near-surface geophysics to improve exploration geophysics, artificial intelligence and machine learning in engineering geophysics, advanced geophysical imaging and characterization methods, advances in acquisition and sensor technologies, and environmental and geohazards studies.

Physics-driven machine learning

In order for machine learning (ML) to gain widespread acceptance in geophysics, ML applications must produce results that are consistent with established physical laws and relationships within some acceptable margin of error. By integrating physics and data-driven models, we improve the ability of ML methods to generalize, without limiting ourselves to training with only available observed training data sets, and we ensure that the ML method is consistent with physical theory. Furthermore, hybrid physics-data-driven solutions can overcome knowledge gaps in our physical theories by learning new relationships between input parameters and observed data. In this special section, we seek papers on ML applications that are physics informed.

Potential fields

Description coming soon.


Hydrogeophysics is a cross-disciplinary field integrating hydrogeology with geophysics for more-efficient, lower-cost, and less-invasive techniques. Recent interests and technological advances have dramatically expanded the use of geophysics to utilize water resources in a sustainable manner. The editors of this special section seek papers on groundwater remediation monitoring, groundwater/surface-water exchange, waterborne electromagnetic methods, wildfire hydrology, real-time monitoring of hydrologic processes, unmanned aircraft systems for hydrologic applications, or other related topics to demonstrate advances in hydrogeophysics.

Digital transformation

Digital processing has been routinely used in most geophysical workflows for decades, yet a lot of operations are still executed in manual or semimanual fashion (first-break and horizon picking, facies classification, etc.). In this special section, we would like to invite papers on new digital solutions and significant advancements, as well as state-of-the-art reviews. Digital technologies we are interested in include but are not limited to data acquisition automation and robotization, big data management, cloud computing, high-performance computing, advanced numerical simulations and processing, and automation of geophysical workflows.

Planetary geophysics

Description coming soon.

  • Manuscript submission deadline: 1 June 2022
  • Special-section coordinator: TBD
  • Publication of issue: October 2022
  • Submit an article: TLE Submission System


Description coming soon.

Seismic reservoir modeling

Description coming soon.

  • Manuscript submission deadline: 1 August 2022
  • Special-section coordinator: TBD
  • Publication of issue: December 2022
  • Submit an article: TLE Submission System


Unconventional reservoirs are organic-rich source rocks where the organic matter has thermally matured but the hydrocarbons formed during maturation have not migrated. Hydrocarbons trapped in tight source rocks are challenging to extract, requiring nontraditional methods such as directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing. We invite authors to submit papers on all geophysical aspects of unconventionals, ranging from review articles to research, applications, and case studies.

Lifetime of the well

Decades of investment in the hydrocarbon economy have resulted in substantial numbers of oil and gas fields where economic and environmental management increasingly relies on the ability to conduct geophysical surveys in the presence of dense industrial infrastructure such as casing, distribution and storage pipelines, and power systems. This special section of The Leading Edge will focus on technology and case studies, with challenges specific to the emplacement, imaging through/of/around, and characterization of the well casing in mature fields. We invite papers that present the physics of these challenges and novel technology solutions toward their mitigation, especially discussions of how the traditional geophysical toolkit (seismic, electromagnetic, potential fields, etc.) fits with emerging concepts in computation and sensor development.

Land seismic acquisition

Thanks to rapid advancements in land acquisition techniques, land seismic has seen higher trace density with significantly improved acquisition efficiency. On the source side, simultaneous shooting has become the new norm for vibroseis operations. On the receiver side, development of nodal systems has permitted rapid deployment in many challenging environments. The editors of this special section seek papers that either demonstrate the novel technology applied to land acquisition or show the benefits of new high-density seismic on improving image resolution, prestack inversion, and reservoir characterization.

Latin America

Latin America has emerged as an exciting area for oil and gas over the last decade. Recent successful discoveries have been made in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, and Mexico. Many of these discoveries have been offshore. However, there are also promising unconventional reservoirs in the region. In this special section, we will focus on regional challenges and case studies from Latin America.

(Volume 40, Issue 11)

Quantitative interpretation

(Volume 40, Issue 10)

Rock physics
(Volume 40, Issue 9)

Surface-wave applications
(Volume 40, Issue 8)

Seismic interpretation
(Volume 40, Issue 7)

The role of advanced modeling in enhanced carbon storage
(Volume 40, Issue 6)

Seismic imaging below complex overburdens
(Volume 40, Issue 5)

The role of geophysics in a net-zero-carbon world
(Volume 40, Issue 4)

Basin exploration
(Volume 40, Issue 3)

Mining geophysics
(Volume 40, Issue 2)

Remote sensing
(Volume 40, Issue 1)

Geothermal energy
(Volume 39, Issue 12)

Distributed acoustic sensing
(Volume 39, Issue 11)

Machine learning and AI
(Volume 39, Issue 10)

Smart city geophysics
(Volume 39, Issue 9)

Southeast Asia
(Volume 39, Issue 8)

Reservoir monitoring
(Volume 39, Issue 7)

Middle East
(Volume 39, Issue 6)

Near-surface imaging and modeling
(Volume 39, Issue 5)

Offshore technology
(Volume 39, Issue 4)

Reservoir characterization Part II
(Volume 39, Issue 3)

Reservoir characterization Part I
(Volume 39, Issue 2)

CO2 in the subsurface
(Volume 39, Issue 1)

Borehole geophysics
(Volume 38, Issue 11)

AVO inversion
(Volume 38, Issue 10)

Acquisition and sensing
(Volume 38, Issue 9)

Exploration geophysics in China
(Volume 38, Issue 8)

Machine learning applications
(Volume 38, Issue 7)

Near-surface geophysics
(Volume 38, Issue 6)

Rock physics
(Volume 38, Issue 5)

(Volume 38, Issue 4)

Full-waveform inversion
(Volume 38, Issue 3)

Unconventional case studies
(Volume 38, Issue 2)

Case studies: Conventionals
(Volume 38, Issue 1)

Infrastructure assessment
(Volume 37, Issue 10)

Cross-disciplinary applications of geophysics
(Volume 37, Issue 9)

Spotlight on the Mediterranean
(Volume 37, Issue 7)

Advancements in image processing
(Volume 37, Issue 6)

(Volume 37, Issue 5)

Latin America
(Volume 37, Issue 4)

The Permian Basin
(Volume 37, Issue 3)

Induced seismicity
(Volume 37, Issue 2)

Advancements in 3D seismic processing
(Volume 37, Issue 1)

Geophysical applications of fiber-optic distributed sensing
(Volume 36, Issue 12)

Reservoir characterization
(Volume 36, Issue 11)

(Volume 36, Issue 10)

Celebrating 10 years of SEAM success
(Volume 36, Issue 9)

Impact of compressive sensing on seismic data acquisition and processing
(Volume 36, Issue 8)

Unmanned autonomous vehicles
(Volume 36, Issue 7)

(Volume 36, Issue 6)

Business impact of 4D seismic
(Volume 36, Issue 5)

Offshore technology and applications/OTC
(Volume 36, Issue 4)

Data analytics and machine learning
(Volume 36, Issue 3)

Velocity-model uncertainty
(Volume 36, Issue 2)

Remote sensing
(Volume 36, Issue 1)

Full-waveform inversion Part II
(Volume 36, Issue 1)

Full-waveform inversion Part I
(Volume 35, Issue 12)

Near-surface modeling and imaging
(Volume 35, Issue 11)

4D seismic
(Volume 35, Issue 10)

(Volume 35, Issue 9)

Advances in seismic sensors
(Volume 35, Issue 7)

Honoring Mike Batzle
(Volume 35, Issue 6)

AVO inversion
(Volume 35, Issue 5)

Offshore geophysical applications/OTC
(Volume 35, Issue 4)

Subsalt imaging
(Volume 35, Issue 3)

Imaging/inversion: Estimating the earth model
(Volume 35, Issue 2)

(Volume 35, Issue 1)