Mehdi Tork Qashqai

Research Scientist in Passive Seismic Imaging and Lithospheric Properties

I am a geophysicist and seismologist with a broad range of research and industry experience. My broad research interests embrace different aspects of solid Earth geophysics and seismology. I am particularly interested in quantitative understanding of the internal structure of the Earth across a range of scales, from exploration-scale to lithospheric-scale through inverse modelling of geophysical data. To this end, my doctoral research involved developing and implementing a multi-parameter geophysical inverse modelling tool available at Macquarie’s geophysics and geodynamics group known as “LitMod_4INV”. This tool performs simultaneous, internally consistent probabilistic inversion of multiple geophysical datasets (e.g., seismic surface waves, receiver functions, surface heat flow, surface topography, geoid, magnetotelluric data and composition from xenoliths, etc.) within a self-consistent thermodynamic framework for mapping the thermal, chemical and seismic structure (thermochemical tomographic models) of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle.

Prior to my doctoral study, I was working in the oil and gas exploration industry for 6 years as a seismic processing and team leader geophysicist delivering processing, imaging and quantitative interpretation of seismic data.

My main research within the Deep Earth Imaging (DEI) contributes to the “Geoscience Imaging” pillar of the DEI research and is focused on the developing and application of new passive seismic imaging approaches to obtain better tomographic models of subsurface structure across multiple scales (e.g., from exploration-scale to lithospheric-scale).


Technical skills

  • Solid knowledge of Bayesian joint inversion of multiple geophysical datasets
  • Demonstrated record of hands-on industry experience in imaging and quantitative interpretation of seismic reflection data
  • Deep knowledge of geophysical methods including seismic
  • Highly experience in passive seismic imaging of shallow (e.g. resource exploration-scale) and deep subsurface structures (e.g., lithospheric-scale)
  • Strong high-performance computing, scientific programming (e.g., C, C++, Python, FORTRAN) and bash scripting skills
  • Experience in coding and scientific software development in the areas of seismic and geophysical imaging and model parameter estimations through inversion



July 2020 – Present
Research Scientist: CSIRO Deep Earth Imaging Future Science Platform

July 2017 – June 2020
Postdoctoral fellow: CSIRO Deep Earth Imaging Future Science Platform

2016 – 2017
Postdoctoral researcher: Macquarie University

2007 – 2012
Various roles: Cad Cam Iran Company
Head of seismic processing and imaging centre, team leader geophysicist (2011 – 2012)
Senior seismic data processing geophysicist (2008 – 2011)
Junior seismic data processing geophysicist (2007 – 2008)



PhD (Geophysics) Macquarie University Australia (2016)


Selected publications

T. Qashqai, M., Saygin, E., and Kennett, B.L.N. (2019), Crustal Imaging with Bayesian Inversion of Teleseismic P‐wave Coda Autocorrelation, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 124,

Moho structure of Australia from probabilistic inversion of teleseismic P-wave coda autocorrelation, AEGC 2019: From Data to Discovery – Perth, Australia, 2-5 Sep 2019.

T. Qashqai, M., Saygin, E., Kennett, B. L. N. Probabilistic inversion of teleseismic P-wave coda autocorrelation for imaging crustal structure, EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 7-12 Apr 2019 (Vol 21).

Tork Qashqai, M., Afonso, J. C., & Yang, Y. (2018). Physical state and structure of the crust beneath the western‐central United States from multiobservable probabilistic inversion. Tectonics, 37, 3117– 3147.

T. Qashqai, M., Saygin, E., Kennett, B. L. N. Imaging Moho variations across Australia from Bayesian inversion of autocorrelograms, Australian Geoscience Council Convention, Adelaide, 14-18 Oct 2018.

Tork Qashqai, M., Carlos Afonso, J., and Yang, Y. (2016), The crustal structure of the Arizona Transition Zone and southern Colorado Plateau from multiobservable probabilistic inversion, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 17, 4308– 4332,

Zhen Guo, Juan Carlos Afonso, Mehdi Tork Qashqai, Yingjie Yang, Y. John Chen, Thermochemical structure of the North China Craton from multi-observable probabilistic inversion: Extent and causes of cratonic lithosphere modification, Gondwana Research, Volume 37, 2016, Pages 252-265,

Qashqai MT, Afonso JC, Yingjie Y, and Schutt D (2015). Thermophysical structure of the crust beneath the US Intermountain West from Multi-Observable Probabilistic Inversion, AGU Fall Meeting 2015, San Francisco, USA.

Afonso JC, Yang Y, Rawlinson R, Jones A, Fullea J, and Qashqai MT (2015). Multi-Observable Thermochemical Tomography of the lithosphere and upper mantle, AGU Fall Meeting 2015, San Francisco, USA.Professional experience