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David Shelly

I use seismic waveforms, typically recorded at or near the surface, to infer physical processes associated with active faulting.  Recent interests include earthquake swarms (and associated fluid-faulting interactions) and tectonic tremor.  To gain insight into these processes, I have worked to develop new techniques for earthquake detection, source location, and focal mechanism dete

I earned my Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2007, focused on understanding the mechanism of "non-volcanic tremor" in the Nankai subudction zone.  After finishing my Ph.D., I was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley and a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow in the USGS Earthquake Science Center.  From 2010-2018 I was a Research Geophysicist with the USGS Volcano Science Center (California and Yellowstone Volcano Observatories) in Menlo Park, California.   I am now a member of the Geologic Hazards Science Center in Golden, Colorado.

I'm working maximize the information we can obtain from seismic records of faulting processes.  This information is then combined with other available constraints (e.g. geodetic, geologic, geochemical) to understand what these seismic signals can tell us about physical (tectonic, hydrothermal, and/or magmatic) processes in the subsurface.

Other Recognitions

2015 - Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, Geophysical Research Letters

2014 - Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences

2010 - Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, Geophysical Research Letters


Hill, D.P., E. Montgomery-Brown, D. R. Shelly, A. Flinders, and S. P. Prejean (2020), Post-1978 Tumescence at Long Valley Caldera, California: a Geophysical Perspective, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,

Professional Experience

  • 2018-present - Research Geophysicist, Geologic Hazards Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Golden, CO

    2010-2018 - Research Geophysicist, Volcano Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

    2008-2010 - Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

    2007-2008 - Miller Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Unversity of California, Berkeley

Education and Certifications

  • 2007 - Ph.D., Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

    2000 - B.A. Mathematics-Physics, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA

Honors and Awards

  • 2012 - Macelwane Medal, presented by the American Geophysical Union for significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding early career scientist.

    2012 - Fellow, American Geophysical Union

    2011 - Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipient, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

    2011 - Charles F. Richter Early Career Award, Seismological Society of America, awarded to one early career scientist annually for outstanding contributions to the Society

    2008 - Inaugural recipient of the Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award, American Geophysical Union Seismology Section, given to recognize the scientific accomplishments of a junior scientist who makes outstanding contributions to the advancement of seismology.

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