PhD Candidate, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

My background is in Physics, and I graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2014 with an MSci in Natural Sciences (Physics). I am a postgraduate student interested in seismology, particularly focussed on array processing techniques, and applying these to forensic seismology and the deep Earth.

Forensic seismology is the application of seismological techniques to the analysis and identification of events that are suspected of being related to illegal activity, predominately the testing of nuclear warheads. My research project is a NERC CASE studentship in collaboration with AWE Blacknest, one of the organisations responsible for the enforcement of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Monitoring the seismic waves originating from suspicious events is one of the most important parts of verifying whether or not the event was the result of a nuclear explosion. However, discerning such events from natural and non-nuclear sources of seismicity requires detailed measurement of the seismic waveform. It is thus necessary to achieve a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in the seismic data that is to be analysed.

Over half of the primary seismic stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the CTBT organisation (CTBTO) are small-aperture seismic arrays. The SNR of the data from these arrays can be improved by stacking the seismograms from each element in the array. The first part of my project is focussed on developing stacking techniques to achieve improved SNRs on such small-aperture seismic arrays.

Experience

  • –present
    PhD Candidate, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol