Background and activities

The earth’s crust tells its story in its outcropping rocks which can be mapped in many different ways. Oil- and ore exploration need models of the distribution and petrology of rocks also in the subsurface. For this purpose, the rocks need to be parameterized. Petrology and mineralogy can be expressed in a simplified way in densities and magnetic attributes.  All rocks, from the surface to the deep, contribute with their densities to the gravity field and with their magnetic attributes to the magnetic field. Interpretation of the potential fields leads to subsurface models. These fields are called potential fields and can be measured from mineral- to satellite scale. Acquisition of such data is performed by moving sensors over the area of interest which does not harm the environment.

My field of research is to integrate surface geology with potential field interpretation in order to derive subsurface models and by that, adding new puzzle pieces to the tectonic setting and geological development.  Powerful methods for potential field modelling and inversion with the ability to shape the 3D subsurface rock parameter distribution have become available during the last years, its development mainly driven from demands of the petroleum- and ore industry. These methods are applicable from field- to planetary scale, onshore and offshore.There is an unlocked potential in the crossover zone between oil exploration and ore exploration.

Research highlights:

  • Ultramafic rocks and its gravity and magnetic field expression in Norway (Seiland Province, Ottrøya; NTNU research group headed by prof. S. McEnroe) and below sedimentary basins (Norwegian continental shelf)
  • Worldwide offshore studies on all scales related to hydrocarbon exploration with potential field interpretation applied to quaternary channels, gas hydrates, shallow gas, salt imaging, sub sedimentary crustal characterization, sediment compaction characterization and magnetic anomalies at hydrocarbon fields.

My career includes a phD in global seismology (KIT), postdoc. in regional seismic interpretation and gravity in the North Sea (IPT / NTNU), research specialist in gravity and magnetics in hydrocarbon exploration worldwide (1990 - present) and adjunct professor (2013 - present). Throughout my career I was in touch with a wide variety of geological and geophysical topics and have gained a lot of experience also in lecturing, all with focus on geological applications of potential fields.

Publications: search with "Fichler" in Google scholar for more publications

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications