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PI: Bertoni, Claudia

Department: Earth Sciences (DG)

This proposal aims at strengthening the partnership between our research group in the Earth Sciences Department and Wood Mackenzie, the industry partner. Wood Mackenzie is a global research and consultancy business with clients in the natural resources industry. In 2021, they donated their vast subsurface database to our group, for research into offshore and deep groundwater resources, building on the studies previously developed by the PI.

The main aims of the Partnerships grant project are to: 1) diversify and repurpose the use of the large Wood Mackenzie database that is currently rooted in the fossil fuel and mining sectors, to fit within the ongoing energy transition; 2) find innovative methods in groundwater exploration, to provide new resources to water-poor areas, which will be particularly affected by future climate changes. The analysis will also highlight the distribution of saline aquifers used for CO2 geological storage, which is one of the targets of the innovation strategy at Wood Mackenzie.

The initial geospatial and data science analysis, funded by a EPSRC IAA workshop grant and Oxford's CRRMF, showed promising results on the application of statistical and machine learning workflows to identify data gaps, correct errors, define parameters and their clustering for predicting the distribution of deep and offshore fresh aquifers. The project Researcher, with the assistance of the PI and the Sr. Research Fellow in Computational Geoscience, will upscale this initial analysis and undertake a secondment in Wood Mackenzie's offices in London, to work closely with their Subsurface Research group on the data analysis and using their platform. We've identified a need in Wood Mackenzie for enhanced visualization technologies which we'll develop in collaboration with OXR Hub. The expected outputs include tailored workflows in data science/machine learning, pilot VR project, application for follow-up grant, and exploring future joint commercial enterprises.

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