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Dr David Al-Attar


Solid Earth 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, with an emphasis on the Earth's free oscillations. This is still something I work on, but in recent years my interests have shifted towards  post-glacial sea level change, with this topic lying at the interface between solid Earth geophysics and climate science. Other areas of current research include body tides, rotational dynamics,  and geophysical inverse theory.  

Any opportunities for post-graduate study would be found at:

while those for post-doctoral work:

Beyond this, I will not generally respond to unsolicited expressions of interest. Nor do I offer internships for undergraduate students. 







Geophysics ; Geodesy ; Seismology

Key Publications

Maitra M.A., & Al-Attar D., 2019. A non-pertubative method for gravitational potential calculations within heterogeneous and aspherical planets. Geophys. J. Int.219, 1043-1055.

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.

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.