David Dempsey

Senior LecturerDavid Dempsey

Internal Phone: 91437
I use physics models and machine learning for my research in volcanoes, earthquakes and groundwater systems.


Research Interests

My research group tackles some big challenges that arise when managing extreme groundwater systems in a safe and sustainable way.

Steam-driven volcanic eruptions - we use machine learning techniques to identify seismic signals that suggest an imminent eruption from shallow hydrothermal systems. Using this, we have developed a real-time warning system for Whakaari.

Human-triggered earthquakes - we model how fluid injection and extraction in hydrocarbon projects changes stress on faults. By matching the rate of earthquakes in the past, we can predict the future earthquake rate for different operation styles.

Geothermal reservoir imaging - we study the interaction of solar electromagnetic signals with the Earth to understand where, how large and how powerful our geothermal systems are.

Carbon sequestration - we use models to demonstrate safe and efficient ways to pump large amounts of CO2 underground so that it doesn't contribute to climate change.

Recent Publications

  • Dempsey DE. and Suckale J. (2023) Physics-Based Forecasting of Induced Seismicity at Groningen Gas Field, The Netherlands: Post Hoc Evaluation and Forecast Update. Seismological Research Letters http://dx.doi.org/10.1785/0220220317.
  • Steinke B., Jolly AD., Carniel R., Dempsey DE. and Cronin SJ. (2023) Identification of seismo‐volcanic regimes at Whakaari/White Island (New Zealand) via systematic tuning of an unsupervised classifier. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2022jb026221.
  • Ardid A., Dempsey D., Caudron C. and Cronin S. (2022) Seismic precursors to the Whakaari 2019 phreatic eruption are transferable to other eruptions and volcanoes. Nature Communications 13(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-29681-y.
  • Banks E., Morgan L., Sai Louie A., Wilson S. and Dempsey D. (2022) Active distributed temperature sensing to assess surface water–groundwater interaction and river loss in braided river systems. Journal of Hydrology 615, Part A http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.128667.
  • Dempsey DE., Kempa-Liehr AW., Ardid A., Li A., Orenia S., Singh J., Tyler AJ. and Cronin SJ. (2022) Evaluation of short-term probabilistic eruption forecasting at Whakaari, New Zealand. Bulletin of Volcanology 84(10) http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00445-022-01600-5.