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Dr. Mohammed Ali

Ruwais Building, Room 3212
Office:  +971 (0)2 607 5282
Fax: +971 (0)2 607 5194
Email: mali@pi.ac.ae



Geophysics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (1999-2003)
Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Wales, College Newport, UK (1998-1999)
MSc Applied Geophysics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (1997-1998)
BSc Exploration Geology, University of Wales, College Cardiff, UK (1994–1997)


Dr. Mohammed Ali Experience with geophysical (seismic, gravity and magnetic), geological and structural data acquisition (including 3D industry standard and 2D shallow seismic), processing, interpretation and modelling in three different environments: onshore, offshore and ice-shelf (Antarctica).

Dr. Mohammed Ali successfully investigated aspects of sedimentary basins, oceanic lithosphere, lithospheric evolution, passive continental margins, and reservoir characterization to provide significant insights into fundamental geological processes.

His main research is in the area of synthesizing seismic, gravity, magnetic, topography and other observables geological and geophysical data with new observations gained from innovative and quantitative geophysical analyses.

He is expert on petroleum system and mineral potential of East and horn of Africa. Conducted geophysical and geological surveys in Horn of Africa and East African Rift System (EARS) to investigate the petroleum potential of Albertine Graben, Lake Tanganyika, Somalia and Gulf of Aden.


Aug 2015–present Professor
Department of Petroleum Geosciences
The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Aug 2010–Jul 2015 Associate Professor
Department of Petroleum Geosciences
The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Jul 2003–Jul 2010 Assistant Professor
Department of Petroleum Geosciences
The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.


  • Reservoir Geophysics: Seismic reservoir monitoring; passive microseismic; seismic modelling of fractured carbonate reservoirs; microgravimetric monitoring of reservoirs; seismic anisotropy; seismic reflection processing; seismic inversion and modelling; seismic attributes; AVO analysis and seismic amplitude interpretation; 2D and 3D seismic interpretation and visualization.
  • Geology and Tectonics: Tectonic evolution of northeastern Arabia; tectonic evolution of Gulf of Aden; seismic stratigraphy; basin modelling; lithospheric flexure and crustal studies, gravity and magnetic modelling; seismic structural interpretation.
  • Natural Resources: Hydrocarbon potential of Gulf of Aden and Somaliland/Somalia; geophysical mineral exploration of Arabian shield and Somaliland/Somalia.


Project Title: Enhancement of Fracture Characterization by Innovative Geophysical Data Processing and Integration in Carbonate Reservoirs
Funding Agency: ADNOC Oil Subcommittee
Collaborator(s): Dr. Jun Matsushima (University of Tokyo)
Project Title: Deep seismic study of the UAE-Oman mountain belt: Implications for collision tectonics and ophiolite emplacement
Funding Agency: PI Research Centre
Collaborator(s): Profs. Tony Watts and Mike Searle (University of Oxford)


  1. F. Bouchaala, and M.Y Ali, and J. Matsushima, “Estimation of seismic attenuation in carbonate rocks using three different methods: Application on VSP data from Abu Dhabi oilfield,” Journal of Applied Geophysics, vol. 126, pp. 79-91, 2016.
  2. F. Bouchaala, F., M.Y. Ali, and J. Matsushima, “Attenuation modes from Vertical Seismic Profiling and sonic waveform in a carbonate reservoir, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,” Geophysical Prospecting, vol. 26, pp.1030-1047, 2016.
  3. J. Matsushima, M.Y. Ali, and F. Bouchaala, “Seismic attenuation estimation from zero-offset VSP data using seismic interferometry,” Geophysical Journal International, vol. 204, pp. 1288-1307, 2016.
  4. S. Pilia, M.Y. Ali, A.B. Watts, and M.P. Searle, “UAE-Oman Mountain gives clues to oceanic crust and mantle rocks,” EOS, vol. 97(2), pp.8-12.
  5. M.Y. Ali, and A. Farid, “Cretaceous-Neogene structural evolution of SE Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,” Journal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 39(3), pp. 221-246, 2016.
  6. M.Y. Ali, and A.B. Watts, “Tectonic evolution of sedimentary basins of northern Somalia,” Basin Research, vol. 28(3), pp. 340-364, 2016.
  7. A. Salem, and M.Y. Ali, “Mapping basement structures in the northwestern offshore of Abu Dhabi from high-resolution aeromagnetic data,” Geophysical Prospecting, vol. 64(3), pp. 726-740, 2016.
  8. M.Y. Ali, “Petroleum Geology and hydrocarbon potential of Guban basin, northern Somaliland,” Journal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 38(4), pp. 433-457, 2015.
  9. L. Eisner, D. Gei, M. Hallo, I. Oprsal, and M.Y. Ali, “Reply on Source reverberations, near- surface resonances, or Q?” (I.B. Morozov) Comment on “The peak frequency of direct waves for microseismic events” (L. Eisner, D. Gei, M. Hallo, I. Oprsal, and M.Y. Ali, Geophysics, vol. 78(6), pp. A45–A49) Geophysics, v. 79 (4), pp. X19-X22, 2014.
  10. F. Bouchaala, M.Y. Ali, and A. Farid, "Estimation of compressional seismic wave attenuation of carbonate rocks in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates," Comptes Rendus Geoscience, vol. 346, pp. 169-178, 2014.


Dr. Fateh Bouchaala Postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Simone Pilia Postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Weining Liu Postdoctoral fellow
Mr. Muhammad Tanveer Research Lab Engineer
Mr. Meng Li Visiting PhD Student
Guo Yi MS Student
Jung Sungun MS Student
Lee Jaehee MS Student


  • Impact research award, ADRAC, OSC-ADNOC, May 2015
  • A token of appreciation for excellent research, Upstream Research Oil-Subcommittee, Abu Dhabi, February 2014.
  • Research Award, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, June 2010.




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