I'm Matt Davis, and I was a student at Bullard Labs from October 2006 to June 2010.

I studied the structure of the crust and mantle beneath the British Isles while I was a PhD student in Nicky White's Basin Analysis group at Bullard Laboratories, part of the Department of Earth Sciences in Cambridge. My research involved analysing earthquakes from around the world using data recorded at seismometers installed across the region and nearby continental Europe. When I started there were fewer seismometers with sufficient data available, so I installed and managed a network of seven seismometers stretching from East Anglia to central Ireland, some of which are still in operation today. In addition to my own seismometers I analysed data from a further 43, including one seismometer which had been recording for over 20 years.

My research focussed on the receiver function technique. Receiver functions are sensitive to the shear wave velocity structure of the rocks that the seismic waves pass through, and so inversion schemes allow the velocity structure of the crust and mantle to be modelled. My findings agree with and build upon previous studies suggesting the British Isles was uplifted 55 million years ago due to hot material being added to the base of the crust. In addition, the thickness of the crust suggests that the north west of the region is buoyantly supported in the present day by a warm shallow mantle, possibly related to the Icelandic mantle plume.

I'm originally from Lisburn in Northern Ireland, where I was a pupil at Friends' School. Before my PhD I studied Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory and throughout my entire time at Cambridge I was a member of Robinson College, one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge. After finishing my doctorate, I continued to live in Cambridge for a number of years where I worked for a large software company doing research in computer vision techniques such as image recognition and face recognition.

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