As the global society focuses on combating climate change and embraces energy transition from fossil fuel to cleaner, renewable energy, applied geophysics research faces significant challenges in its own transition. At the Sustainability Geophysics Project (SGP), our research group expands the horizon of “exploration” from the deep subsurface for energy resources to include all elements around the energy cycle. We demonstrate value of applied geophysical research for applications ranging from efficient energy recovery, optimal energy usage, to real-time monitoring and management, reclaim and recycle, and finally to carbon sequestration. With one case study in each category, we provide concrete examples on how applied geophysical research contributes broadly to the sustainable development of modern society. Finally, as a traditionally data-heavy discipline, we propose a new angle to perceive geophysics as a discipline of applied data science, and point to the unprecedented opportunities for the applied geophysics community.

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