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David Edwin Dempsey

David Dempsey

Phone (505) 664-0712


  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Geophysics
  • Subsurface flow and transport
  • Hydrology
  • Earthquakes


Subsurface flow and transport

Geothermal reservoir modelling

Well stimulation

CO2 sequestration

Induced seismicity



PhD, 2012                                                                                              

University of Auckland, New Zealand - Dept. Engineering Science

  • Coupled models of tectonic activity, structural evolution, geothermal circulation and silica chemistry for the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand as well as Iceland.

MS, 2008

University of Otago, New Zealand - Dept. Physics

  • Ice core extraction in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica; development of numerical model consistent with field data (platelet accretion and ice growth).

BSc, 2007

University of Otago, New Zealand - Dept. Physics


LANL Positions

Post-doctoral Research Fellow                                                          Dec 2012 – present


  • Development of coupled flow and geomechanics code, FEHM. Lead developer of PyFEHM, Python interface for FEHM. Use of commercial FE code, Abaqus.
  • Model development for CO­2 sequestration, induced seismicity, geothermal well stimulation, Bayesian analysis of heterogeneity, code benchmarking.

Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)

New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA)



Dempsey D, Kelkar S, Pawar R, (In Press) Passive injection: a strategy for mitigating reservoir pressurization, induced seismicity and brine migration in geologic CO2 storage. Int J Greenh Gas Con.

Keating E, Newell D, Dempsey D, Pawar R, (2014) Insights into interconnections between the shallow and deep systems from a natural CO2 reservoir near Springerville, Arizona. Int J Greenh Gas Con, Vol.25, p.162-172.

Dempsey D, Kelkar S, Pawar R, Keating E, Coblentz D, (2014) Modeling caprock bending stresses and their potential for induced seismicity during CO2 injection. Int J Greenh Gas Con, Vol.22, p.223-236.

Dempsey D, Kelkar S, Lewis K, Hickman S, Davatzes N, Moos D, Zemach E (2013) Modeling shear stimulation of the desert peak EGS well 27-15 using a coupled thermal-hydrological-mechanical simulator. 47th US Rock Mech / Geomech Symp 2013, Vol.2, p.1006-1019.

Dempsey D, Archer R, Ellis S, Rowland J (2013) Hydrological effects of dip-slip fault rupture on a hydrothermal plume. J Geophys Res 118, 195-211.

Dempsey D, Simmons S, Archer R, Rowland J (2012) Delineation of catchment zones of geothermal systems in large-scale rifted settings, J Geophys Res 117, doi: 10.1029/2012JB009515.

Dempsey D, Rowland J, Zyvoloski G, Archer R (2012) Modelling the effects of silica deposition and fault rupture on natural geothermal systems. J Geophys Res 117, doi: 10.1029/2012JB009218.

Dempsey D, Ellis S, Rowland J, Archer R (2012) The role of frictional plasticity in the evolution of normal fault systems. J Struct Geol 39, 122-137.

Dempsey D, Ellis S, Archer R, Rowland J (2012) Energetics of normal earthquakes on dip-slip faults. Geology 40, 279-282.

Dempsey D, Langhorne P (2012) Geometric properties of platelet ice crystals. Cold Reg Sci Tech 78, 1-13.

Leonard G, Langhorne P, Williams M, Vennell R, Purdie C, Dempsey D, Haskell T, Frew R (2011) Evolution of supercoiling under coastal Antarctic sea ice during winter. Antarctic Sci 23, 399-409.

Dempsey D, Langhorne P, Robinson N, Williams M, Haskell T, Frew R (2010) Observation and modeling of platelet ice fabric in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. J Geophys Res 115, doi:10.1029/2008JC005264.