Prof. Stephen Arrowsmith

Associate Professor
Hamilton Chair in Earth Sciences
Huffington Department of Earth Sciences
Southern Methodist University


In geophysics, we use a variety of different types of signal to study the Earth. I specialize in using seismic and low-frequency acoustic (or ‘geoacoustic’) signals to study the geosphere and atmosphere, and to monitor both natural and human sources. Many of the most significant discoveries in geophysics were based on small numbers of observations and simple analytical models. To further the science, the emphasis today is on the development of computationally-intensive numerical models and/or the application of numerical methods to very large datasets. My research focuses on the development and application of numerical methods for modeling the generation and propagation of waves in the solid earth and atmosphere, processing large datasets, and inverting observations to improve our understanding of the solid earth or atmosphere. I also have a long-standing interest in the use of seismology and geoacoustics for national security applications, and enjoy putting geophysics techniques to use for important practical uses.


  1. To improve our fundamental understanding of the generation and propagation of seismic and geoacoustic waves.
  2. To design algorithms that get more out of data.
  3. To make practical contributions to important national and international challenges.
  4. To teach classes that improve critical thinking and help students develop relevant skills for future.
  5. To communicate the value of science to non-experts and the general public.
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Associate Professor

in Earth Sciences
Southern Methodist University

SMU faculty page

Principal Member of Technical Staff

Sandia National Laboratories


Scientist 3

Los Alamos National Laboratory



Doctor of Philosophy

in Geophysics
University of Leeds, UK


Bachelor of Science

in Geophysics
University of Edinburgh, UK

Selected Publications

Selected publications include work I’ve done in infrasound, detection, and data science.

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Locating Surface Explosions by Combining Seismic and Infrasound Data

Seismological Research Letters, 2019
Koch, Clinton D and Arrowsmith, Stephen
Publisher's website BibTeX
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False alarms and the IMS infrasound network: Understanding the factors influencing the creation of false events

Geophysical Journal International, 215(2): 1322-1337, 2018
Arrowsmith, Stephen J
Publisher's website BibTeX
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A seismoacoustic study of the 2011 January 3 Circleville earthquake

Geophysical Journal International, 189(2): 1148-1158, 2012
Arrowsmith, Stephen J and Burlacu, Relu and Pankow, Kristine and Stump, Brian and Stead, Richard and Whitaker, Rod and Hayward, Chris
Publisher's website BibTeX
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The seismoacoustic wavefield: A new paradigm in studying geophysical phenomena

Reviews of Geophysics, 48(4), 2010
Arrowsmith, Stephen J and Johnson, Jeffrey B and Drob, Douglas P and Hedlin, Michael AH
Publisher's website BibTeX