Under the Earth's surface is a rich array of geological resources, many with potential use to humankind. However, extracting and harnessing them comes with enormous uncertainties, high costs, and considerable risks. The valuation of subsurface resources involves assessing discordant factors to produce a decision model that is functional and sustainable. This volume provides real-world examples relating to oilfields, geothermal systems, contaminated sites, and aquifer recharge.
Volume highlights include:
- A multi-disciplinary treatment of uncertainty quantification
- Case studies with actual data that will appeal to methodology developers
- A Bayesian evidential learning framework that reduces computation and modeling time
Quantifying Uncertainty in Subsurface Systems is a multidisciplinary volume that brings together five major fields: information science, decision science, geosciences, data science and computer science. It will appeal to both students and practitioners, and be a valuable resource for geoscientists, engineers and applied mathematicians. The data we collect in an attempt to characterize the subsurface can be incomplete and inaccurate. However, if we understand the uncertainty of our data and the models we generate from them, we can make better decisions regarding the management of subsurface resources. Modeling and managing subsurface resources, and properly characterizing and understanding the uncertainties, requires the integration of a variety of scientific and engineering disciplines.
Five case studies are outlined in the introductory chapter, which are used to demonstrate various methods throughout the book. The second chapter introduces the basic notions in decision analysis. Uncertainty quantification is only relevant within the decision framework used. Models alone do not quantify uncertainty, but do allow the determination of key variables that influence models and decisions. Next, an overview of the various data science methods relevant to uncertainty quantification in the subsurface is provided. Sensitivity analysis is then covered, specifically Monte Carlo-based sensitivity analysis. The next three chapters develop the Bayesian approach to uncertainty quantification, and this is the focus of the book.
All of this is brought together in Chapter 8, which describes a solution regarding quantifying the uncertainties for each of the problems presented in the first chapter. The authors admit that it is not the only solution. No single solution fits all problems of uncertainty quantification. The results in this chapter allow the reader to see the previously described methods applied and how choices influence models and decisions. The final two chapters discuss various software components necessary to implement the strategies presented in the book and challenges faced in the future of uncertainty quantification.
The book uses a number of relevant subsurface problems to explore the various aspects of uncertainty quantification. Understanding uncertainty, and how it affects modeling and decision outcomes, is not always straightforward. However, it is necessary in order to make good, consistent decisions. The book is not an easy read. Some portions require good mathematical understanding of the underlying principles. However, the book is well documented and organized. I would say that is not a good book for a beginner, but it is a good resource for someone to get a grounding to go further into the subject. I appreciate the authors putting together this book on a complex problem that is important to our industry.
-- David Bartel, Houston, Texas
1. The Earth Resources Challenge 1
2. Decision Making Under Uncertainty 29
3. Data Science for Uncertainty Quantification 45
4. Sensitivity Analysis 107
5. Bayesianism 129
6. Geological Priors and Inversion 155
7. Bayesian Evidential Learning 193
8. Quantifying Uncertainty in Subsurface Systems 217
9. Software and Implementation 263
10. Outlook 267