My research focuses on how geophysical data (seismic and acoustic) can be combined with physics-based computational simulations to better monitor and understand natural hazards, with a particular emphasis on infrasound (low frequency acoustic waves that are below the frequency limit of human hearing) and volcanic eruptions. Motivated by interesting observations of natural activity, a desire to reduce risk, and a strong scientific curiosity, I develop numerical models that are derived from fundamental physics. I validate these models by acquiring my own data, or by comparing with existing geophysical data and visual observations, and then use the validated models to learn about the behaviour of complex volcanic systems in order to improve monitoring efforts and hazard assessment.
My current areas of research include detecting and characterizing snow avalanches with infrasound, simulating geophysical signals from pyroclastic density currents, and infrasonic precursors to lava fountaining at open vent volcanoes. Over the past year, I have also been working on modeling the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand (Aotearoa).
- Lustig A., Vattiato G., Maclaren O., Watson LM., Datta S. and Plank MJ. (2023) Modelling the impact of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant in New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 20(199) http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0698.
- Watson LM., Cannata A. and Andronico D. (2023) Tracking a Pyroclastic Density Current With Seismic Signals at Mt. Etna (Italy). Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 128(3) http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2022jb026114.
- Sciotto M., Watson LM., Cannata A., Cantarero M., De Beni E. and Johnson JB. (2022) Infrasonic gliding reflects a rising magma column at Mount Etna (Italy). Scientific Reports 12(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-20258-9.
- Watson L. (2022) Likelihood of infecting or getting infected with COVID-19 as a function of vaccination status, as investigated with a stochastic model for New Zealand (Aotearoa) for Delta and Omicron variants. New Zealand Medical Journal http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.11.28.21266967.
- Watson LM. (2022) Likelihood of infecting or getting infected with COVID-19 as a function of vaccination status, as investigated with a stochastic model for Aotearoa New Zealand for Delta and Omicron variants. New Zealand Medical Journal 135(1552): 89-100.