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Michel Campillo

Michel Campillo
Michel Campillo

The 2012 Beno Gutenberg Medal is awarded to Michel Campillo in recognition of the outstanding contributions he has made to the study of earth structure and seismic sources using novel methods.

Michel Campillo received his Ph.D in 1982 and the Doctorat d’état in 1986. He is currently Professor at the Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France. He is a fine researcher with a worldwide reputation from his seismological innovation. He received the Prix Jaffé from the French Academy of Sciences, 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and delivered the 2008 Gutenberg Lecture at the AGU Fall Meeting. He is also an excellent teacher and advisor who generously shares his knowledge and ideas with young colleagues, students, and postdoctoral fellows. Campillo’s work has covered many different aspects of seismology from the behaviour of regional seismic phases, the nature of seismic sources, and the exploitation of seismic coda waves and ambient seismic noise. Among his outstanding contributions, early in his career, he identified resonances of seismic waves in the Mexico City sedimentary basin after the 1985 M8.1 earthquake, and in the early 1990’s, following the Landers 1992 earthquake in California, he developed novel methods to determine the source rupture history from seismic and InSAR data that were subsequently widely used. His work on the propagation of seismic waves at regional distances led him to examine the frequency dependence of Q in the crust. Subsequently he studied the properties of the seismic coda using initially a radiative transfer approach and later a multiple scattering formalism in order to extract information about the medium from the seismic coda. He studied the equi-partition of seismic energy in the coda and was able to demonstrate the estimation of the Green’s functions for a medium using coda waves. This pioneering work was subsequently applied to ambient seismic noise and demonstrated ideas that had been first conjectured by Aki and other from the 1960’s on. Campillo has understood the power of the noise correlation approach given the vast amount of digital data now available. He mastered and contributed to the theory, built bridges between acoustics, physics and seismology, and rapidly developed practical approaches that have since had a tremendous success. With Shapiro he demonstrated the power of the method for crustal structure in southern California and this publication in Science in 2005 introduced a powerful new tool for structural seismology. Today, in just six years after its first publication, the use of the noise correlation method for the study of crustal structure has become widespread and has enabled much information to be extracted from previously recorded data. Through his work Campillo has changed the face of seismology, especially for deployments of temporary instruments. He has enabled the whole recording of ground motion to be exploited, not just the earthquake signals that rise above the noise threshold. He has led the work on the use of correlations between stations for both coda and ambient noise and continues to devise new ways of exploiting the seismic wavefield, such as monitoring temporal changes by looking at the properties of multiply scattered waves.