Whitney Trainor-Guitton

Whitney Trainor-Guitton

Assistant Professor
Department of Geophysics

Research Directions

My research blends spatial statistics, data science, and geophysical inversion. I’m interested in quantifying the uncertainty of models generated by geophysical data, and how this effects decisions. I’m particularly interested in infusing geostatistics into geothermal exploration and quantifying the information content of distributed acoustic sensing. 


  • BS Geophysical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2001
  • MS Geophysics, Stanford University, 2006
  • PhD Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, 2010


  • value of information methodologies
  • stochastic techniques and geostatistical modeling of geophysical data
  • distributed acoustic sensing
  • integration of data of diverse scales
  • uncertainty quantification
  • subsurface flow modeling
  • carbon sequestration monitoring
  • geothermal exploration



  • Trainor-Guitton, W., Guitton, A., Jreij, S., Powers, H., and Sullivan, B. (2019) 3D Imaging of Geothermal Faults from a Vertical DAS: Energies, v. 12, doi: 10.3390/en12071401. https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/12/7/1401/htm
  • Witter, J.B., Trainor-Guitton, W.J.,and Siler, D.L., (2019) Uncertainty and risk evaluation during the exploration stage of geothermal development: A review: Geothermics, v. 78, p. 233-242, doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2018.12.011
  • Boyd, D., Trainor-Guitton, W., and Walton, G. (2017) Assessment of rock unit variability through use of spatial variograms: Engineering Geology, doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2017.12.012
  • Trainor-Guitton, W., Hoversten, G., Nordquist, G. and Intani, R., (2017) Value of MT inversions for geothermal exploration: accounting for multiple interpretations of field data & determining new drilling locations, Geothermics, 66, pp 13-22.
  • Trainor-Guitton, W., Sun, Y., Mansoor, K., and Carroll, S., (2016) Merits of Pressure and Geochemical Data as Indicators of CO2/Brine Leakage into a Heterogeneous, Sedimentary Aquifer, Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 52, pp 237-249.
  • Peredo-Alvarez, V., Bellas, A., Trainor-Guitton, W., and Lange, I., (2016) Mandate a Man to Fish?: Technological advance in cooling systems at U.S. thermal electric plants: Water Resources Research, v. 52, p. 1418-1426, doi: 10.1002/2014WR015716.
  • Chiaramonte, L., White, J. and Trainor-Guitton, W., (2014) Probabilistic geomechanical analysis of compartmentalization at the Snhvit CO2 sequestration project, Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011376.
  • Carroll, S., Keating, E., Mansoor, K., Dai, Z, Sun, Y., Trainor-Guitton, W., Brown, C., Bacon, D. (2014) Key factors for determining groundwater impacts due to leakage from geologic carbon sequestration reservoirs, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 29, pp 153-168.
  • Trainor-Guitton, W., Hoversten, G. M., Ramirez, A., Roberts, J., Jlusson, E., Key, K., Mellors, R. (2014) The value of spatial information of for determining well placement: a geothermal example, Geophysics, 79(5), pp 27-W41, 10.1190/GEO2013-0337.1.
  • Trainor-Guitton, W. (2014) A geophysical perspective of value of information: examples of spatial decisions for groundwater sustainability, Environment, Systems and Decisions, doi:10.1007/s10669-013-9487-9.
  • Trainor-Guitton, W., Ramirez, A., Yang, X., Mansoor, K., Sun, Y., Carroll, S., (2013) Value of information methodology for assessing the ability of electrical resistivity to detect CO2/brine leakage into a shallow aquifer, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 18, pp 101-113.
  • Sun, Y., Tong, C., Trainor-Guitton, W., Lu, C., Mansoor, K., and Carroll, S., (2013) Global sampling for integrating physics-specific subsystems and quantifying uncertainties of CO2 geological sequestration, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 12, pp 108-123.
  • Trainor-Guitton, W. J., Mukerji, T., and Knight, R. (2013). A methodology for quantifying the value of spatial information for dynamic earth problems. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 27(4), 969983. doi:10.1007/s00477-012-0619-4
  • Trainor-Guitton, W., and Hoversten, G. M. (2012). Stochastic inversion for electromagnetic geophysics: practical challenges and improving convergence efficiency. Geophysics, 76(6), F373. doi:10.1190/geo2010-0223.1
  • Trainor-Guitton, W. J., Caers, J. K., and Mukerji, T. (2011). A methodology for establishing a data reliability measure for value of spatial information problems. Mathematical Geosciences, 43(8), 929949. doi:10.1007/s11004-011-9367-0


Bldg 6
1318 Maple Street
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401