Doyeon Kim

Ph.D. in Geophysics

Curriculum Vitae


About me


I am a geoscientist with a background in both engineering and seismology. My primary research interest is to better constrain processes in planetary interiors using seismic data and numerical models. To do this, I develop new techniques for imaging subsurface structures. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow at University of Maryland, College Park. Below, you can reach more about my past and current research projects.


Ph.D. Geophysics, Cornell University

M.S. Civil & Env. Eng., Yonsei University

B.S. Civil & Env. Eng., Yonsei University



My scientific interest is to improve our understanding of processes within the interior of the Earth that involve interactions between materials, from groundwater aquifers and crustal magmatic systems at shallow depths, subducting slabs at intermediate depths, to ultra-low velocity zones in the Core-Mantle Boundary region. As a seismologist, this entails using seismic waves to map and track interactions between materials that form our planet. My efforts as an Earth scientist therefore focus on developing and implementing new ways of extracting information from geophysical data (via machine learning) to develop quantitative multi-scale models, initially focusing on aquifer systems and plume generation at the core mantle boundary. As a collaborator on the InSight Mission to Mars, I am also actively involved in planetary research, focusing on characterizing the interior structure of the Mars by leveraging techniques developed for studying Earth structures.

Ultralow-Velocity Zones of the Pacific Basin

Understanding the core-mantle boundary region is critical for constraining the origin of plumes, fate of subducted slabs, and nature of primate geochemical reservoirs. With collaborators at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, I systematically analyze scattering across the Pacific basin and find pervasive heterogeneity in the Pacific region that includes the strongest signal due to a plume root beneath Hawaii and a previously unrecognized ULVZ beneath the Marquesas Islands (Kim et al., 2020, Science) [Read more] [Recent webinar presented at the G&T seminar]

Using Seismic Data for Studying Groundwater Hydrology

Over 2 billion people worldwide suffer from water stress. Even though groundwater in large aquifer systems is often relied upon as a water source, it is one of the least well‐known components of the hydrologic cycle. In my recent work, I suggest an alternative and/or complementary approach for monitoring groundwater changes using seismic data (Kim et al., 2019, GRL). Specifically, both ambient noise autocorrelation and teleseismic receiver functions computed at a single seismic station show consistent correlations with groundwater level (GWL) changes on long timescales in two large aquifers of the U.S. This work has been highlighted by EOS and IRIS. [Read more]

Exploring Fine Details of Geologic Features at Depth

In my Ph.D. dissertation, I focused on bridging the gap between high-resolution seismic imaging based on industry-style reflection surveys and large-scale imaging based on earthquake data. With collaborators at Cornell University, we develop techniques that enable the resolution of very fine details of subsurface structure across different scales but using broadband seismic stations and earthquake data. I used scattered/converted body waves from various seismic sources (vibrations from earthquakes; Kim et al., 2017; 2018; 2019, train noise; Quiros et al., 2016, and active sources; Kim and Brown, 2019) to image the subsurface from upper crustal structures (geothermal/magmatic reservoirs) to subduction zones [Read more...]

Obtaining Robust Seismic Constraints from Planetary Explorations

I am actively involved in planetary research, with the goal of characterizing the interior structure of the Mars by leveraging techniques developed for studying Earth structures. As a collaborator on the InSight Mission to Mars, I use marsquake recordings collected by the SEIS (Seismic Explorations for Interior Structure) instrument to explore the crustal thickness and layering of Mars (Knapmeyer-Endrun et al., under review; Khan et al., under review). I have also used the autocorrelations of scattered marsquake waves to identify signatures of waves bouncing from intra-crustal discontinuities (Compaire, et al., in revision). As interest in resource extraction and manned exploration of small planetary bodies grows, planetary analog studies are becoming a crucial tool for assessing and refining geophysical exploration methods. At the University of Maryland, I am an active member of the GEODES (The Geophysical Exploration of the Dynamics and Evolution of the Solar Systems) Virtual Institute, to develop geophysical strategies for upcoming lunar and asteroid science missions. See NESF2020 abstract for details. [Virtual poster presentation at NESF2020]


Selected publications

Kim, D., V. Lekic, B. Menard, D. Baron, and M. Taghizadeh-Popp (2020), Sequencing seismograms: a panoptic view of scattering in core-mantle boundary region, Science, 368, 1223 [PDF] [Media coverage] [Featured in Science Perspectives]

Brown, L., and D. Kim (2020), Extensive sills in the continental basement from deep seismic reflection profiling, Geosciences, 10(11), 449 [PDF]

Kim, D., and V. Lekic (2019), Groundwater variations from autocorrelation and receiver functions, Geophysical Research Letters, 46(23), 13722-13729 [PDF] [Selected as Editor's Highlights in EOS ] [Science Highlights by IRIS]

Kim, D., K. Keranen, G. Abers, and L.D. Brown (2019), Enhanced resolution of the subducting plate interface in Central Alaska from autcorrelation of local earthquake coda, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 124(2), 1583-1600 [PDF]

Kim, D., and L. D. Brown (2019), From trash to treasure: 3D basement imaging with “excess” data from oil and gas exploration, AAPG Bulletin, 103(7), 1691-1701 [PDF]

Kim, D., L. D. Brown, K. Arnason, O. Gudmundsson, K. Agustsson, O. G. Flovenz (2018), Magma “bright spots” mapped beneath Krafla, Iceland, using RVSP imaging of reflected waves from microearthquakes, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 391, 106365 [PDF]

Kim, D., L. D. Brown, K. Arnason, K. Agustsson, and H. Blanck (2017), Magma reflection imaging in Krafla, Iceland, using microearthquake sources, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 122(7), 5228-5242 [PDF]

Quiros, D. A., L. D. Brown, and D. Kim (2016), Seismic interferometry of railroad induced ground motions: body and surface wave imaging, Geophysical Journal of International, 205(1), 301-313 [PDF]