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

  • Ardid A., Archer R., Bertrand E., Sepulveda F., Tarits P. and Dempsey D. (2021) Heat Transfer Through the Wairakei-Tauhara Geothermal System Quantified by Multi-Channel Data Modeling. Geophysical Research Letters 48(8) http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2020GL092056.
  • Yu P., Dempsey D. and Archer R. (2021) A three-dimensional coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical numerical model with partially bridging multi-stage contact fractures in horizontal-well enhanced geothermal system. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 143 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmms.2021.104787.
  • Dempsey D., Eccles JD., Huang J., Jeong S., Nicolin E., Stolte A., Wotherspoon L. and Bradley BA. (2020) Ground motion simulation of hypothetical earthquakes in the upper North Island of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00288306.2020.1842469.
  • Dempsey DE., Cronin SJ., Mei S. and Kempa-Liehr AW. (2020) Automatic precursor recognition and real-time forecasting of sudden explosive volcanic eruptions at Whakaari, New Zealand. Nature Communications 11(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17375-2.
  • Dempsey D. and Riffault J. (2019) Response of Induced Seismicity to Injection Rate Reduction: Models of Delay, Decay, Quiescence, Recovery, and Oklahoma. Water Resources Research 55(1): 656-681. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2018WR023587.