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Dr David Al-Attar


Mathematical Geophysics

Bullard Labs

Madingley Rise,
Madingley Road,

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 348935

Research Interests

I develop and apply mathematical and computational methods to better understand the Earth and Earth-like planets. My background is in theoretical seismology, and this is still something I work on. In recent years, however, much of my focus has shifted to post-glacial sea level change, with this topic lying at the interface between solid Earth geophysics and climate science. Other areas of current interest include body tides, rotational and orbital dynamics, full waveform inversion, and geophysical inverse theory.  

I do not offer interships for undergraduate students, and will not respond to unsolicited inquiries about this. If, however, you are interested in applying for post-graduate or post-doctoral work, do please get in touch. 




Geophysics ; Geodesy ; Seismology

Key Publications

Crawford O., Al-Attar D., Tromp J., & Mitrovica J.X., Austermann J., & Lau H.C.P., 2018. Quantifying the sensitivity of post-glacial sea level change to laterally varying viscosity. Geophy. J. Int., 214, 1324–1363.

Al-Attar D., Crawford O., Valentine A.P., & Trampert J., 2018. Hamilton's principle and normal mode coupling in an aspherical planet with a fluid core.  Geophys. J. Int., 214485–507.

Crawford O., Al-Attar D., Tromp J., & Mitrovica J.X., 2017. Forward and inverse modelling of post-seismic deformation. Geophy. J. Int., 208, 845-876.

Lau H.C.P., Faul U., Mitrovica J.X., Al-Attar D., Tromp J.,  & Garapic G., 2017. Anelasticity across seismic to tidal timescales: a self-consistent approach. Geophy. J. Int., 208, 368-384.

Al-Attar D. & Crawford O., 2016. Particle relabelling transformations in elastodynamics. Geophys. J. Int., 205, 575-593.

Al-Attar D. & Tromp J., 2014. Sensitivity kernels for viscoelastic loading based on adjoint merhods. Geophys. J. Int., 196, 34--77.

Al-Attar D., Woodhouse J.H. & Deuss A.F., 2012. Calculation of mode spectra in laterally heterogeneous earth models using an iterative direct solution method. Geophys. J. Int., 189, 1038--1046.

Al-Attar D. & Woodhouse J.H., 2008. Calculation of seismic displacement fields in self-gravitating earth models -- applications of minor vectors and symplectic structure. Geophys. J. Int., 175, 1176--1208.