Marta Pienkowska

Marta Pienkowska


I “used to be” a mathematician until October 2015, when I started my DPhil and thus my conversion to geophysics. I joined the WAVES ITN project and the Seismology group at the Oxford Earth Sciences to work on wave propagation in complex media.

The complexity of the medium is one of the crucial challenges in numerical modelling of seismic and acoustic waves. We understand wave propagation and its numerical solution, but it remains computationally prohibitive to propagate waves through true multi-scale complex media. We are thus currently developing an efficient two-step hybrid wave propagation code that we hope would allow us to address a variety of problems and questions, such as:

Can we better characterise large finite ruptures? What is the influence of near-source structure on earthquake source estimates? Can we see the imprint of small-scale complex structures at depth in a global wavefield? What is the resolution limit of tomography? What kind of small-scale structures could generate the SH-SV energy conversions?

The novelty of our approach lies in employing Instaseis – a python library that near-instantaneously extracts seismograms from AxiSEM-generated waveform databases – at the core of our hybrid method.