William Sturgeon

William Sturgeon

Profile Display Name:

Will Sturgeon

E-mail Address:


Start Year

2017 (Cohort 4)

Research interests:
Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title

Global seismic tomography using seismic wave amplitudes and resolvability of Earth structure using 3D geodynamic modelling

Research Theme

Solid Earth Dynamics

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



When an earthquake ruptures, seismic waves propagate through the Earth. We can utilise information from seismic waves to image Earth structure, a process called seismic tomography. Traditional methods have focused on imaging Earth’s elastic structure, but a knowledge of the Earth’s anelastic structure allows for a more detailed mapping of variations in temperature, composition and the presence of water. Anelasticity can be determined through the study of seismic attenuation, the energy loss experienced by seismic waves as they propagate through grain-boundary friction. Therefore, I intend to build a global 3D tomography model of seismic attenuation of the Earth’s mantle, using innovative and novel data sets and modelling techniques, with the aim of further increasing the resolution of Earth structure. Whilst seismic tomography only provides a snapshot image of the Earth, dynamic processes can be modelled over million of years using geodynamic modelling. The joint interpretation of seismic tomography and geodynamic modelling provides a unique tool for further understanding Earth properties and processes. To take advantage of this, I will programme 3D geodynamic models, and go on to investigate intriguing features such as mantle plumes and subducting slabs. Such knowledge is essential to increase of understanding of Earth structure and evolution.

Policy Impact
Background Reading



Social Links
University Departmental Website:

Personal Website:





Stay informed

Click here to subscribe to our RSS newsletter by email.

Find Us

University College London is the administrative lead.

North-West Wing, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Follow us on Twitter