Dr Mojtaba Rajabi

ARC DECRA Research Fellow

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
m.rajabi@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52042

Overview

Dr Mojtaba Rajabi has over 12 years of extensive experience in crustal stress analysis, reservoir geomechanics, geomechanical-numerical modelling and petrophysics. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the University of Adelaide in 2017. Dr Rajabi has worked on the geomechanical analyses of >30 sedimentary basins from across the world including Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Mozambique, Iceland and Western Mediterranean. Since 2012, Dr Rajabi has worked on the Australian and World Stress Map projects, and currently is the Deputy-Head of the World Stress Map project. Dr Rajabi has received over 15 prestigious awards and prizes for his research including the ARC-DECRA Award, the Australian SEG Early Achievement Award, EAGE Louis Cagniard Award and the International Lithosphere Program’s Flinn-Hart Award.

Research Interests

  • Reservoir Geomechanics
    Analyses of in-situ stresses for petroleum/geothermal exploration and production (e.g. wellbore stability, fracture stimulation, fluid flow in the subsurface, seal breach by fault reactivation).
  • Neotectonic Stress Analyses
    Determination of the contemporary state of stress and its relationships with recent structural styles.
  • Geomechanical-Numerical Modelling
    Construction of 1D to 3D geomechanical models for safe and sustainable usage of underground.
  • Petrophysics and Formation Evaluation
    Analyses of petrophysical parameters using well log data.
  • Machine Learning
    Application of AI and ML for prediction of rock properties.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Adelaide

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Project description: The present-day stress pattern of the Australian continent has been the subject of scientific debate for over 30 years. The most recent analyses of in-situ stress in the Australian continent revealed massive spatial perturbations on the orientation of maximum horizontal stress. However, there are still lots of questions about the causes and consequences of present-day stress field in the Australian continent. One of the most significant obstacles in developing a detailed understanding of tectonic stress in Australia is that almost all the in-situ stress data for the continent only shows the stress orientation and, hence, does not describe the full 3D stress tensor that defines the stress state at a point with six independent components (i.e. stress magnitudes and orientation). This stress magnitude information is critical for neotectonic deformation, subsurface resource utilisation and any model calibration. Therefore, this lack of stress magnitude information precludes any geomechanical model calibration to understand the controls on in-situ stress field of Australian continent.

    The recent increase in unconventional petroleum reservoirs in eastern Australia provides the opportunity to quantify stress magnitudes data. Therefore, the aim of this project is to analyse in-situ stress magnitude data and construct 1D to 3D geomechanical-numerical modelling using various methods. In particular, the candidate will be actively working with wellbore data to assess the magnitudes of vertical and horizontal stresses. In addition, 3D geomechanical models at reservoir-scales will be constructed to investigate the effect of the stress variations in several practical applications such as hydraulic fracturing, subsurface fluid flow, wellbore stability and potential for induced seismicity associated with either subsurface fluid injection or fluid withdrawal.

    Preferred educational background: Applicants should possess a BSc Hons, MSc, or equivalent, majoring in a relevant discipline (e.g. Geology, Petroleum Engineering and Geophysics) with demonstrated experiences in structural geology, interpretation of geophysical logs and analysis of in-situ stress using wellbore data.

    Excellent oral and written communication skills, motivation and the ability to work as part of a team is also required.

    Desirable requirements for applicants: One or more peer-reviewed research publications with evidence of timely delivery of high quality research outputs. Previous experience with geomechanical assessment of geo-reservoirs, numerical simulation tools and programming skills are desirable.

    If you are interested, please send your CV, cover letter and contact details of two references to Dr Mojtaba Rajabi: m.rajabi@uq.edu.au

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  • Project description: Australia is the most extensively studied continent with regards to the Earth’s crustal stress analysis. However, all analyses to date have been unable to explain the origin of the Earth’s stresses in the Australian continent. Knowledge of the present-day crustal stresses is essential for understanding geodynamic processes such as earthquakes and global tectonics. It is also a key control on the stability of all underground openings and management of geo-reservoirs.

    The new Australian Stress Map, demonstrates that the Australian stress pattern is not well predicted by any of the >20 published models over the past 30 years. The poor correlation between plate-scale geomechanical models and available constraints on present-day crustal stress indicates that the fundamental concept of the Australian stress field being primarily controlled by plate boundary forces needs to be re-evaluated. In addition, new studies suggest that dynamic topography (the vertical motion of Earth's surface induced by mantle convection), may play a critical role on the Australian stress field. This Project aims to use state-of-the-art geodynamic numerical models to investigate the role of dynamic topography on Australian crustal stress.

    Preferred educational background: Applicants should possess a BSc Hons, MSc, or equivalent, majoring in a relevant discipline (e.g. Geology and Geophysics) with demonstrated experience in geodynamic numerical modelling and global tectonics.

    Excellent oral and written communication skills, motivation and the ability to work as part of a team is also required.

    Desirable requirements for applicants: One or more peer-reviewed research publications with evidence of timely delivery of high quality research outputs. Previous experience with numerical simulation tools and programming skills are desirable.

    If you are interested, please send your CV, cover letter and contact details of two references to Dr Mojtaba Rajabi: m.rajabi@uq.edu.au

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View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Heidbach, Oliver, Rajabi, Mojtaba, Reiter, Karsten and Ziegler, Moritz O. (2019). World stress map. Encyclopedia of petroleum geoscience. (pp. 1-8) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-02330-4_195-1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Project description: The present-day stress pattern of the Australian continent has been the subject of scientific debate for over 30 years. The most recent analyses of in-situ stress in the Australian continent revealed massive spatial perturbations on the orientation of maximum horizontal stress. However, there are still lots of questions about the causes and consequences of present-day stress field in the Australian continent. One of the most significant obstacles in developing a detailed understanding of tectonic stress in Australia is that almost all the in-situ stress data for the continent only shows the stress orientation and, hence, does not describe the full 3D stress tensor that defines the stress state at a point with six independent components (i.e. stress magnitudes and orientation). This stress magnitude information is critical for neotectonic deformation, subsurface resource utilisation and any model calibration. Therefore, this lack of stress magnitude information precludes any geomechanical model calibration to understand the controls on in-situ stress field of Australian continent.

    The recent increase in unconventional petroleum reservoirs in eastern Australia provides the opportunity to quantify stress magnitudes data. Therefore, the aim of this project is to analyse in-situ stress magnitude data and construct 1D to 3D geomechanical-numerical modelling using various methods. In particular, the candidate will be actively working with wellbore data to assess the magnitudes of vertical and horizontal stresses. In addition, 3D geomechanical models at reservoir-scales will be constructed to investigate the effect of the stress variations in several practical applications such as hydraulic fracturing, subsurface fluid flow, wellbore stability and potential for induced seismicity associated with either subsurface fluid injection or fluid withdrawal.

    Preferred educational background: Applicants should possess a BSc Hons, MSc, or equivalent, majoring in a relevant discipline (e.g. Geology, Petroleum Engineering and Geophysics) with demonstrated experiences in structural geology, interpretation of geophysical logs and analysis of in-situ stress using wellbore data.

    Excellent oral and written communication skills, motivation and the ability to work as part of a team is also required.

    Desirable requirements for applicants: One or more peer-reviewed research publications with evidence of timely delivery of high quality research outputs. Previous experience with geomechanical assessment of geo-reservoirs, numerical simulation tools and programming skills are desirable.

    If you are interested, please send your CV, cover letter and contact details of two references to Dr Mojtaba Rajabi: m.rajabi@uq.edu.au

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Project description: Australia is the most extensively studied continent with regards to the Earth’s crustal stress analysis. However, all analyses to date have been unable to explain the origin of the Earth’s stresses in the Australian continent. Knowledge of the present-day crustal stresses is essential for understanding geodynamic processes such as earthquakes and global tectonics. It is also a key control on the stability of all underground openings and management of geo-reservoirs.

    The new Australian Stress Map, demonstrates that the Australian stress pattern is not well predicted by any of the >20 published models over the past 30 years. The poor correlation between plate-scale geomechanical models and available constraints on present-day crustal stress indicates that the fundamental concept of the Australian stress field being primarily controlled by plate boundary forces needs to be re-evaluated. In addition, new studies suggest that dynamic topography (the vertical motion of Earth's surface induced by mantle convection), may play a critical role on the Australian stress field. This Project aims to use state-of-the-art geodynamic numerical models to investigate the role of dynamic topography on Australian crustal stress.

    Preferred educational background: Applicants should possess a BSc Hons, MSc, or equivalent, majoring in a relevant discipline (e.g. Geology and Geophysics) with demonstrated experience in geodynamic numerical modelling and global tectonics.

    Excellent oral and written communication skills, motivation and the ability to work as part of a team is also required.

    Desirable requirements for applicants: One or more peer-reviewed research publications with evidence of timely delivery of high quality research outputs. Previous experience with numerical simulation tools and programming skills are desirable.

    If you are interested, please send your CV, cover letter and contact details of two references to Dr Mojtaba Rajabi: m.rajabi@uq.edu.au

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