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., 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, Under review.
  • Yu P., Dempsey D. and Archer R. (2022) Techno-Economic feasibility of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) with partially bridging Multi-Stage fractures for district heating applications. Energy Conversion and Management 257 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2022.115405.
  • 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.
  • Ardid A., Dempsey D., Bertrand E., Sepulveda F., Tarits P., Solon F. and Archer R. (2021) Bayesian magnetotelluric inversion using methylene blue structural priors for imaging shallow conductors in geothermal fields. Geophysics 86(3): E171-E183. http://dx.doi.org/10.1190/geo2020-0226.1.