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Nienke Blom

Nienke Blom

Research Associate

Waveform tomography and density imaging

Bullard Laboratories - Wolfson Building (room 56)
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Cambridge
Madingley Road

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 337062


Nienke Blom is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Seismology at the Department of Earth Sciences, working in the group of Nick Rawlinson. Her main focus is density tomography using seismic waveform inversion and state-of-the-art high performance computing. She is also interested in the application of knowledge on density to thermochemical inversion approaches. Previously, she was a PhD candidate at Utrecht University between 2013-2017, working with Andreas Fichtner (ETH Zurich) as her main PhD supervisor. She also worked with Arwen Deuss (then at the University of Cambridge, now in Utrecht) on the seismic structure of the Earth's inner core.

Apart from her research, Nienke has always enjoyed being involved in teaching and outreach activities. In Utrecht, she was working regularly as a teaching assistant to several courses in the Earth Sciences curriculum and helped design/adapt of some of these courses. She likes talking about and explaining her work, or science in general, frequently giving tours of the department to school classes and giving layman's lectures. She was a member of the committee organising the bi-weekly Friday Earth Sciences Talks in Utrecht; currently she is a member of the EGU Seismology division Early Career Scientist representative team.


As a part of her research, Nienke visualises the effect of heterogeneities on the seismic wavefield. In the video below, you can see how a density anomaly may influence the propagation of seismic waves, and in turn the seismogram recorded at the other end:


Research Interests

Seismic tomography

Waveform tomography

Density imaging

Thermochemical inversion

Inverse theory


Tomography ; Geophysics ; Seismology


  • Seismology

Key Publications