Yunfeng Chen

Research Scientist in Passive Seismic Imaging

I am an enthusiastic seismologist specializing in passive seismology. My research focuses on imaging subsurface structures of the Earth at various depths, from the sedimentary layer to as deep as the mantle transition zone. I have a profound interest in understanding the seismic structures and tectonic evolution history of continents, in particular North America and Australia. My research interests also include source analysis of induced earthquakes, numerical simulation of seismic wavefield and signal improvement of earthquake data.

My Ph.D candidacy involved both field deployment and laboratory analysis. I have gained skills and experience in seismic data acquisition through more than six years of deployment and maintenance of the broadband seismic networks in western Canada. I was responsible for analysing, processing, modeling, and interpreting the field data. My research outcomes contributed to improved knowledge of the elastic properties (velocity, attenuation, and anisotropy) and structural layering (sedimentary/crustal/lithospheric thickness) of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.

Within Deep Earth Imaging, I have been working on ambient noise imaging of the Australian continent. Our aim is to develop the next-generation continental-scale seismic model the continent for a better understanding of the subsurface structures and tectonic style of the Australian continent.

Technical Skills

  • In-depth knowledge of passive seismic data acquisition, processing, imaging, and interpretation
  • Strong experience in scattered wave imaging, seismic tomography and seismic interferometry
  • Hands-on experience in seismic array deployment, maintenance, and data management
  • Experienced with various seismic software packages (e.g., SAC, Vista, Trelis) and programming languages (e.g., Matlab, Python, Shell script, Fortran, C, PHP)


Professional Experience

October 2018 – present
Postdoctoral Fellow: CSIRO Deep Earth Imaging Future Science Platform

September 2012 – September 2018
Graduate Research Assistant: Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Canada

October 2016 – November 2016
Visiting Scholar: Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Canada



Ph.D. Geophysics
University of Alberta Canada (2018)

Masters of Geophysics (MSc.)
University of Alberta Canada (2014)

Bachelors of Geophysics (BSc.)
China University of Petroleum, Beijing, China (2012)


Selected Publications

Chen, Yangkang, Min Bai, and Yunfeng Chen. “Obtaining free USArray data by multi-dimensional seismic reconstruction.” Nature communications 10, no. 1 (2019): 1-13.

Chen, Yunfeng, Yu Jeffrey Gu, Claire A. Currie, Stephen T. Johnston, Shu-Huei Hung, Andrew J. Schaeffer and Pascal Audet. “Seismic Evidence for a Mantle Suture and Implications for the Origin of the Canadian Cordillera.” Nature Communications, 10, no. 1 (2019): 2249

Li, Tianyang, Yu Jeffrey Gu, Zizhen Wang, Ruijia Wang, Yunfeng Chen, Teh-Ru Alex Song and Ruihe Wang. “Spatiotemporal Variations in Crustal Seismic Anisotropy Surrounding Induced Earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta.” Geophysical Research Letters, 46, no. 10 (2019): 5180-5189.

Wu, Lei, Yu Jeffrey Gu, Yunfeng Chen, and Huaying Liang. “Shear wave splitting discloses two episodes of collision‐related convergence in western North America.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 124, no. 3 (2019): 2990-3010.

Gu, Yu Jeffrey, Yunfeng Chen*, Ramin MH Dokht, and Ruijia Wang. “Precambrian tectonic discontinuities in western Laurentia: Broadband seismological perspectives on the Snowbird and Great Falls tectonic zones.” Tectonics 37, no. 5 (2018): 1411-1434. Corresponding author.

Chen, Yunfeng, Yu Jeffrey Gu, and Shu‐Huei Hung. “A New Appraisal of Lithospheric Structures of the Cordillera‐Craton Boundary Region in Western Canada.” Tectonics 37, no. 9 (2018): 3207-3228.

Wang, Ruijia, Yu Jeffrey Gu, Ryan Schultz, and Yunfeng Chen. “Faults and Non‐Double‐Couple Components for Induced Earthquakes.” Geophysical Research Letters 45, no. 17 (2018): 8966-8975.

Schneider, Simon, Christine Thomas, Ramin MH Dokht, Yu Jeffrey Gu, and Yunfeng Chen. “Improvement of coda phase detectability and reconstruction of global seismic data using frequency–wavenumber methods.” Geophysical Journal International 212, no. 2 (2017): 1288-1301.

Chen, Yunfeng, Yu Jeffrey Gu, and Shu-Huei Hung. “Finite-frequency P-wave tomography of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin: Implications for the lithospheric evolution in Western Laurentia.” Tectonophysics 698 (2017): 79-90.

Gu, Yu Jeffrey, Yuanyin Zhang, Mauricio D. Sacchi, Yunfeng Chen, and Sean Contenti. “Sharp Mantle Transition from Cratons to Cordillera in Southwestern Canada.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 120, no. 7 (2015): 5051-5069.

Chen, Yunfeng, Yu Jeffrey Gu, Ramin MH Dokht, and Mauricio D. Sacchi. “Crustal Imprints of Precambrian Orogenesis in Western Laurentia.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 120, no. 10 (2015): 6993-7012.