Geosciences is a field of great societal relevance that requires solutions to several urgent problems facing our humanity and the planet. As geosciences enters the era of big data, machine learning (ML)-that has been widely successful in commercial domains-offers immense potential to contribute to problems in geosciences. However, geoscience applications introduce novel challenges for ML due to combinations of geoscience properties encountered in every problem, requiring novel research in machine learning. This article introduces researchers in the machine learning (ML) community to these challenges offered by geoscience problems and the opportunities that exist for advancing both machine learning and geosciences. We first highlight typical sources of geoscience data and describe their common properties. We then describe some of the common categories of geoscience problems where machine learning can play a role, discussing the challenges faced by existing ML methods and opportunities for novel ML research. We conclude by discussing some of the cross-cutting research themes in machine learning that are applicable across several geoscience problems, and the importance of a deep collaboration between machine learning and geosciences for synergistic advancements in both disciplines.
- Date of publication:
- July 31, 2018
- IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
- Page number(s):
- Issue Number:
- Publication note:
Anuj Karpatne, Imme Ebert-Uphoff, Sai Ravela, Hassan Ali Babaie, Vipin Kumar: Machine Learning for the Geosciences: Challenges and Opportunities. IEEE Trans. Knowl. Data Eng. 31(8): 1544-1554 (2019)