Miguel Pinto Ward

Miguel Pinto Ward


Current Research

I am working with Paula Koelemeijer (as my supervisor) and Mike Kendall (as co-supervisor) on the subject of Seismic noise sources and background seismicity in London. My DPhil is partly funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

Despite being one of the world’s most populous and richest cities, London does not have even a single permanent seismic station. Historically, high levels of “anthropogenic” seismic noise generated by human activity have deterred seismologists from deploying expensive instruments in London and similar cities around the world. However, recent studies have demonstrated that anthropogenic noise itself is a highly valuable dataset and shown that low-cost seismometers can accurately record urban seismic signals. In addition, recent engineering projects suggest the presence of tectonic features under London that are worth investigating in detail. 

This research will involve local communities to install around 20 new seismic instruments (Raspberry Shakes), record and characterise the seismic signals of London and below, which will provide a rich, publicly available dataset suitable for use in many studies for years to come.


I studied for my undergraduate degree at Cardiff University as a Civil and Environmental Engineer and moved into Engineering Seismology during my masters degree, completed jointly at Université Grenoble Alps, in France and Università degli Studi di Pavia, in Italy. For my masters dissertation I worked with Helle Pedersen and Pierre Boué on the subject of  “retrieving deep body wave phases at frequencies above the second microseismic peak from correlations of ambient seismic noise.