Lucia Gualtieri is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. Before joining Stanford, she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Lucia earned her Ph.D. in Geophysics in 2014, as a dual degree from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (France) and the University of Bologna (Italy). She obtained her M.Sc. in Geophysics in 2010 and her B.Sc. in Physics in 2008, both at the University of Bologna. Lucia is interested in a variety of research topics, and in tackling them under a theoretical, computational and observational point of view. Lucia’s main research interests are in solving problems related to emerging fields in seismology, like ambient seismic noise and seismic signals due to mass-wasting events. She is also interested in using seismic waves to scan the interior of our planet and in gaining insights on how the Earth's structure affects seismic records.

Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Gabilan Faculty Fellow, Stanford University (2021-2023)
  • Blavatnik Postdoctoral Award for Young Scientists, Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences (2018)
  • Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award, American Geophysical Union (2017)
  • Laura Bassi Young Scientist Award, Italian Physical Society (2016)
  • Claudio Bonivento PhD Thesis Award, University of Bologna (2014)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Earth, Environmental, and Ocean Sciences, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (2014)
  • Outstanding student presentation award, Third International QUEST Workshop organized by the ITN QUEST funded by the European Commission. (2012)
  • Marie Curie PhD Fellowship, QUEST International Training Network funded by the European Commission. (2011)

2020-21 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Generation of secondary microseism Love waves: effects of bathymetry, 3-D structure and source seasonality GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Gualtieri, L., Bachmann, E., Simons, F. J., Tromp, J. 2021; 226 (1): 192-219
  • Rayleigh-wave attenuation across the conterminous United States in the microseism frequency band. Scientific reports Magrini, F., Boschi, L., Gualtieri, L., Lekic, V., Cammarano, F. 2021; 11 (1): 10149


    Mapping variations in the attenuation of seismic energy is important for understanding dissipative mechanisms in the lithosphere, and for modeling ground shaking associated with earthquakes. We cross-correlate ambient seismic signal recorded across the EarthScope Transportable Array in the 3-15 s period range. We apply to the resulting cross correlations a new method to estimate lateral variations in Rayleigh-wave attenuation, as a function of period, beneath North America. Between 3 and 6 s, our maps are dominated by a strong eastward decrease in attenuation. This pattern vanishes at longer periods, confirming early observations based on regional earthquakes. Attenuation maps and phase-velocity maps are anti-correlated at periods between 3 and 6 s, but the anti-correlation is also largely lost at longer periods. This corresponds to the attenuation coefficient decreasing with period more rapidly in the west than in the east, while the change in phase velocity with period is more uniform across the continent. Our results point to a transition in the properties of upper-crustal materials with depth, probably related to the closure of fluid-filled cracks and pores, and imply that measures of attenuation from seismic noise carry significant information on crustal rheology.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-89497-6

    View details for PubMedID 33980915

  • Multi-phase seismic source imprint of tropical cyclones. Nature communications Retailleau, L., Gualtieri, L. 2021; 12 (1): 2064


    The coupling between the ocean activity driven by winds and the solid Earth generates seismic signals recorded by seismometers worldwide. The 2-10 s period band, known as secondary microseism, represents the largest background seismic wavefield. While moving over the ocean, tropical cyclones generate particularly strong and localized sources of secondary microseisms that are detected remotely by seismic arrays. We assess and compare the seismic sources of P, SV, and SH waves associated with typhoon Ioke(2006) during its extra-tropical transition. To understand their generation mechanisms, we compare the observed multi-phase sources with theoretical sources computed with a numerical ocean wave model, and we assess the influence of the ocean resonance (or ocean site effect) and coastal reflection of ocean waves. We show how the location and lateral extent of the associated seismic source is period- and phase-dependent. This information is crucial for the use of body waves for ambient noise imaging and gives insights about the sea state, complementary to satellite data.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-22231-y

    View details for PubMedID 33824322

  • The origin of secondary microseism Love waves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Gualtieri, L., Bachmann, E., Simons, F. J., Tromp, J. 2020


    The interaction of ocean surface waves produces pressure fluctuations at the seafloor capable of generating seismic waves in the solid Earth. The accepted mechanism satisfactorily explains secondary microseisms of the Rayleigh type, but it does not justify the presence of transversely polarized Love waves, nevertheless widely observed. An explanation for two-thirds of the worldwide ambient wave field has been wanting for over a century. Using numerical simulations of global-scale seismic wave propagation at unprecedented high frequency, here we explain the origin of secondary microseism Love waves. A small fraction of those is generated by boundary force-splitting at bathymetric inclines, but the majority is generated by the interaction of the seismic wave field with three-dimensional heterogeneity within the Earth. We present evidence for an ergodic model that explains observed seismic wave partitioning, a requirement for full-wave field ambient-noise tomography to account for realistic source distributions.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2013806117

    View details for PubMedID 33168742

  • City-Scale Dark Fiber DAS Measurements of Infrastructure Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Geophysical research letters Lindsey, N. J., Yuan, S. n., Lellouch, A. n., Gualtieri, L. n., Lecocq, T. n., Biondi, B. n. 2020; 47 (16): e2020GL089931


    Throughout the recent COVID-19 pandemic, real-time measurements about shifting use of roads, hospitals, grocery stores, and other public infrastructure became vital for government decision makers. Mobile phone locations are increasingly assimilated for this purpose, but an alternative, unexplored, natively anonymous, absolute method would be to use geophysical sensing to directly measure public infrastructure usage. In this paper, we demonstrate how fiber-optic distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) connected to a telecommunication cable beneath Palo Alto, CA, successfully monitored traffic over a 2-month period, including major reductions associated with COVID-19 response. Continuous DAS recordings of over 450,000 individual vehicles were analyzed using an automatic template-matching detection algorithm based on roadbed strain. In one commuter sector, we found a 50% decrease in vehicles immediately following the order, but near Stanford Hospital, the traffic persisted. The DAS measurements correlate with mobile phone locations and urban seismic noise levels, suggesting geophysics would complement future digital city sensing systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1029/2020GL089931

    View details for PubMedID 32834188

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7435531

  • Global scale analysis and modelling of primary microseisms GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Gualtieri, L., Stutzmann, E., Juretzek, C., Hadziioannou, C., Ardhuin, F. 2019; 218 (1): 560–72

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggz161

    View details for Web of Science ID 000470320500034

  • Toward High-Resolution Period-Dependent Seismic Monitoring of Tropical Cyclones GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Retailleau, L., Gualtieri, L. 2019; 46 (3): 1329–37
  • Physics of ambient noise generation by ocean waves Seismic Ambient Noise Ardhuin, F., Gualtieri, L., Stutzmann, E. Cambridge University Press. 2019: 69–108
  • Broad-band seismic analysis and modeling of the 2015 Taan Fjord, Alaska landslide using Instaseis GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Gualtieri, L., Ekstrom, G. 2018; 213 (3): 1912–23

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggy086

    View details for Web of Science ID 000434675800033

  • The persistent signature of tropical cyclones in ambient seismic noise EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS Gualtieri, L., Camargo, S. J., Pascale, S., Pons, F. E., Ekstrom, G. 2018; 484: 287–94
  • Detection and analysis of a transient energy burst with beamforming of multiple teleseismic phases GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Retailleau, L., Landes, M., Gualtieri, L., Shapiro, N. M., Campillo, M., Roux, P., Guilbert, J. 2018; 212 (1): 14–24

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggx410

    View details for Web of Science ID 000417176000002

  • Seismic Reconstruction of the 2012 Palisades Rockfall Using the Analytical Solution to Lamb's Problem BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Gualtieri, L., Ekstrom, G. 2017; 107 (1): 63–71

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0120160238

    View details for Web of Science ID 000394004900006

  • Ray-theoretical modeling of secondary microseism P waves GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Farra, V., Stutzmann, E., Gualtieri, L., Schimmel, M., Ardhuin, F. 2016; 206 (3): 1730–39

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggw242

    View details for Web of Science ID 000384650400021

  • On the shaping factors of the secondary microseismic wavefield JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Gualtieri, L., Stutzmann, E., Capdeville, Y., Farra, V., Mangeney, A., Morelli, A. 2015; 120 (9): 6241–62
  • The frequency dependence and locations of short-period microseisms generated in the Southern Ocean and West Pacific JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Gal, M., Reading, A. M., Ellingsen, S. P., Gualtieri, L., Koper, K. D., Burlacu, R., Tkalcic, H., Hemer, M. A. 2015; 120 (8): 5764–81
  • How ocean waves rock the Earth: Two mechanisms explain microseisms with periods 3 to 300 s GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Ardhuin, F., Gualtieri, L., Stutzmann, E. 2015; 42 (3): 765–72
  • Modelling the ocean site effect on seismic noise body waves GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Gualtieri, L., Stutzmann, E., Farra, V., Capdeville, Y., Schimmel, M., Ardhuin, F., Morelli, A. 2014; 197 (2): 1096–1106

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggu042

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334736600030

  • Finite-difference P wave travel time seismic tomography of the crust and uppermost mantle in the Italian region GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS Gualtieri, L., Serretti, P., Morelli, A. 2014; 15 (1): 69–88
  • Modelling secondary microseismic noise by normal mode summation GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Gualtieri, L., Stutzmann, E., Capdeville, Y., Ardhuin, F., Schimmel, M., Mangeney, A., Morelli, A. 2013; 193 (3): 1732–45

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggt090

    View details for Web of Science ID 000319482100045