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Raffaele Bonadio

Name: Raffaele Bonadio

Position: Post-doctoral researcher

Email: bonadio-at-cp.dias.ie

Website: raffaelebonadio.com

Raffaele is a post doctoral researcher at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS). He completed his PhD in Seismology, carried out jointly between the Geophysics Section of DIAS with Dr. Sergei Lebedev, and the Geology Department in Trinity College Dublin with Dr. David Chew, in October 2019.


Raffaele’s research is focused on understanding the mechanics and dynamics of the Earth system at a regional scale, in particular the structure and evolution of the lithosphere and the underlying mantle beneath areas which present unique geophysical interest. His studies aim to understand how the present mechanical, thermal and chemical structure of the Earth has been formed and modified by the past dynamics processes, and to image the Earth’s interior at a new level of details with the final goal of contributing to solving the fundamental riddles of plate tectonics and lithospheric dynamics. At present the main targets of his investigation are the areas in the North Atlantic comprised between the British Isles, Iceland, and the Mid Atlantic Ridge (www.sea-seis.ie), with particular focus on Ireland and the Irish Sea, as well as the Tristan da Cunha and the Cape Verde hotspots in the Central and South Atlantic Ocean.

The tools he uses are a combination of complementary surface wave analysis methods (cross-correlation of teleseismic and ambient noise surface waves, and waveform inversion) over very abundant broadband seismic data to extract accurately and efficiently information from each waveform, of both Rayleigh and Love components. In addition to the waveform and array tomography mentioned above, and complementarily to this, he uses computational-petrology as an approach alternative to the purely seismic inversion, with the aim of modeling the thermal structure of the lithosphere- asthenosphere system, and the lithospheric thickness.

Raffaele is involved often in the deployment, logistic, and data collection for seismic stations in Ireland (Ireland Array Seismic Network) and outside (SEA-SEIS, North Atlantic; SISMIKO, Central-Appenine, Italy), and enjoys very much the field! (https://www.raffaelebonadio.com)

Education & Outreach

In addition to this, part of his work is dedicated to education and outreach. He believes it is necessary nowadays to raise interest and make aware as many people as possible (but only the ones who are interested in it!) of the concepts of seismological research, why it is important, how it relates to every day life. Knowing how difficult this task is, Raffaele has often tried to develop strategies to catch the interest of the different people involved, may it be children, general public, bachelor students, or even the most geophysical educated community. He uses powerful graphic tools to produce multimedia content which can catch the attention of the public and explain what our research is about in a more immediate way, if not the only one at all (e.g., https://youtu.be/i2lmBIpcgfI, https://doi.org/10.5446/43587).


Raffaele was previously a MSc student of Exploration and Applied Geophysics at University of Pisa, graduated with a thesis on “Development of genetic algorithms in C – Applications to full waveform inversion” under the supervision of Prof. Eusebio Stucchi and Prof. Alfredo Mazzotti. His BSc in Physics was carried out at the faculty of Physics at University of Pisa, the thesis was developed in a geophysical laboratory on “Characterization of a gravimetric gradiometer, test measurements of the mechanics” under the supervision of Prof. Nicolò Beverini. Graduating in Physics was, according to him, the most devastating and —life changing— experience of his entire life. His most sincere wish is to be able to go back to day one, and jump into Physics again, this time at least knowing from the first day what is a summation symbol. In between the MSc and the BSc Raffaele worked as software engineer in financial environment, where he enjoyed strengthening his computing/programming skills in information theory, data structures and algorithms in various languages and environments (Unix/Linux , IBM mainframe).

Recent Publications

  • Bonadio, R., S. Lebedev, T. Meier, P. Arroucau, A.J. Schaeffer, A. Licciardi, M.R. Agius, C. Horan, L. Collins, B.M. O’Reilly, P. Readman and the Ireland Array Working Group. Optimal resolution tomography with error tracking and the structure of the crust and upper mantle beneath Ireland and Britain. Geophys. J. Int., 226, 2158-2188, https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggab169, 2021.
  • Xu, Y., S. Lebedev, T. Meier, R. Bonadio, C.J. Bean. Optimized workflows for high-frequency seismic interferometry using dense arrays, Geophys. J. Int., 227, 875-897, https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggab260, 2021.
  • Lebedev, S., R. Bonadio, M. Tsekhmistrenko, J.I. de Laat, C.J. Bean. Seafloor seismometers look for clues to North Atlantic volcanism, EOS, 102, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021EO159380, 2021.  
  • Bonadio, R. et al. Hot upper mantle beneath the Tristan da Cunha hotspot from probabilistic Rayleigh-wave inversion and petrological modeling. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GC007347.
  • Lebedev, S., Bonadio, R. et al. Education and public engagement using an active research project: lessons and recipes from the SEA-SEIS North Atlantic Expedition’s programme for Irish schools. Geoscience Communication. https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2019-13.
  • Carvalho, J., Bonadio, R. et al. Evidence for high temperature in the upper mantle beneath Cape Verde archipelago from Rayleigh-wave phase-velocity measurements. Tectonophysics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2019.228225.