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Michael Lee Begnaud

Mike Begnaud

Phone (505) 667-7620


  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Geoscience
  • Geophysics
  • Computer and Computational Sciences
  • Data mining
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Field studies and process experiments
  • Seismic analysis
  • Earthquakes
  • Science of Signatures - Remote and Standoff Sensing
  • Ground-based sensing and sensors
  • Seismic analysis
  • Earthquakes
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Inverse modeling
  • Web Services
  • Website administration and support
  • External web content development



Seismic earth models

Seismic location and ground truth estimates

Database design and development

Web interactions


Ph.D., Geology, University of California, Davis, June 1997. Dissertation: Structure of the Eastern Clipperton Transform Zone, East Pacific Rise. Advisor: Dr. James S. McClain

Bachelor of Science, Geology, University of California, Davis, March 1991


LANL Positions

Scientist 4, EES-17 (Geophysics), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, June 2013 - present

Team Lead, Seismoacoustics team, Geophysics Group (EES-17), Earth and Environmental Science Division, Responsible for leading a team of ~15-19 staff and students with executing tasks and lab business affairs, Fall 2016 – present.

Science Advisor, Ground-based Nuclear Detonation Detection program, Office of Nuclear Detonation Detection, Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development, National Nuclear Security Administration, October 2011 - September 2014.

Scientist 3/Technical Staff Member, EES-17 (Geophysics), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, November 2000 - June 2013

Postdoctoral Research Associate, EES-3 (Geophysics), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, October 1999 - November 2000

Postgraduate Researcher, Earth Sciences Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, May 1999 – September 1999.

Science Postdoctoral Fellow, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA, April 1997 – April 1999.


Professional/Program Development and Service

Venture Lead for Los Alamos National Laboratory, Dynamic Networks Venture, Low-yield Nuclear Monitoring Program, Project Management and planning to execute a new $1.6+ million cross-laboratory program, Summer 2016 – present.

Deputy Program Manager, Ground-based Nuclear Detonation Detection Program, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Deputy to Dr. Dale Anderson for program-related activities at LANL, including project management for a $2+ million program, funding allocations, program expansion and development. November 2011 – present.

Principal Investigator, Ground-based Nuclear Explosion Monitoring, Signal Propagation Task, Los Alamos National Laboratory, September 2011 – present.

Acting Deputy Group Leader, Geophysics Group (EES-17), Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Spring 2016.

EES-17 Group Leader Search Committee, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fall 2015.

Next Steps Committee, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2002-2003.

EES-11 Database Administrator Search Committee, 2000-2001.


Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union

Seismological Society of America



Science Postdoctoral Fellow, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institutue, Moss Landing, CA, April 1997 - April 1999


Special Projects

Tomographic model development for the Regional Seismic Travel Time (RSTT) model. http://www.sandia.gov/rstt



Ballard, S., J. R. Hipp, M. L. Begnaud, C. J. Young, A. V. Encarnacao, E.P. Chael, W. S. Phillips (2016). SALSA3D - A tomographic model of compressional wave slowness in the earth's mantle for improved travel time prediction and travel time prediction uncertainty, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America106no. 617 ppdoi:10.1785/0120150271.

Begnaud, M. L., and D. S. Stakes (2000). Constraining continental margin seismicity by extending on-shore seismograph stations to critical off-shore sites, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am.90no. 2414-424doi:10.1785/0119990115.

Begnaud, M. L., J. S. McClain, G. A. Barth, J. A. Orcutt, and A. J. Harding (1997). Velocity structure from forward modeling of the eastern ridge-transform intersection area of the Clipperton Fracture Zone, East Pacific Rise, JGR: Solid Earth102(B4), 7803-7820doi:10.1029/96JB03393.

Begnaud, M. L., K. C. McNally, D. S. Stakes, and V. A. Gallardo (2000). A crustal velocity model for locating earthquakes in Monterey Bay, California, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am.90no. 61391-1408doi:10.1785/0120000016.

Begnaud, M. L., S. Ballard, C. J. Young, W. S. Phillips, C. A. Rowe, and J. R. Hipp (in prep). Validating SALSA3D -- A global 3D P-velocity model of the Earth's crust and mantle for improved event location.

Begnaud, M. L., W. S. Phillips, R. J. Stead, and F. V. Pabian (2011). Constraints on the locations of the 2009 and 2006 DPRK P'unggye explosions from fusion of improved relative relocation and geospatial analysis, Defense Research Review 19.1, 1-16.

Gallardo, V. A., M. L. Begnaud, J. Williams, K. C. McNally, D. S. Stakes, and G. W. Simila (2004). Analysis of the December 1998 Santa Cruz Mountains, California, earthquake sequence, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am.94no. 51890-1901doi:10.1785/012003230.

Maceira, M., P. S. Blom, J. K. MacCarthy, O. E. Maracillo, G. G. Euler, M. L. Begnaud, S. R. Ford, M. E. Pasyanos, G. J. Orris, M. P. Foxe, S. J. Arrowsmith, B. J. Merchant, and M. E. Slinkard (2017). Trends in Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Research & Development - A Physics Perspective, Los Alamos National LaboratoryLA-UR-17-21274doi:10.2172/1355758.

McClain, J. S., M. L. Begnaud, M. A. Wright, J. Fondrk, and G. K. Von Damm (1993). Seismicity and tremor in a submarine hydrothermal field: The northern Juan de Fuca Ridge,  Geophys. Res. Lett.20(17), 1883-1886doi:10.1029/93GL01872.

Myers, S. C., M. L. Begnaud, S. Ballard, M. E. Pasyanos, W. S. Phillips, A. L. Ramirez, M. S. Antolik, K. D. Hutchenson, J. J. Dwyer, C. A. Rowe, and G. S. Wagner (2010). A crust and upper mantle model of Eurasia and North Africa for Pn travel time calculation, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America100no. 2640-656doi:10.1785/0120090198.

Olsen, K. B., B. H. Jacobsen, M. Begnaud, and W. Phillips (in review). Constraints of crustal heterogeneity and Q(f) from regional (<4Hz) wave propagation for the 2009 North Korea nuclear test, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am.

Phillips, W. S., M. L. Begnaud, C. A. Rowe, L. K. Steck, S. C. Myers, M. E. Pasyanos, and S. Ballard (2007). Accounting for lateral variations of the upper mantle gradient in Pn tomography studies, Geophysical Research Letters34no. 14doi:10.1029/2007GL029338.

Ranasinghe, N., C. Rowe, E. Syracuse, C. Larmat, and M. Begnaud (in review). Enhanced global seismic resolution using SMART cables, Seismological Research Letters.

Romanowicz, B., D. Stakes, J. P. Montagner, P. Tarits, R. Uhrhammer, M. Begnaud, E. Stutzmann, M. Pasyanos, J.F. Karczewski, S. Etchemendy, and D. Neuhauser (1998). MOISE: A pilot experiment towards long term sea-floor geophysical observatories, Earth Planets Space50, 927-937.

Stakes, D. S., B. Romanowicz, J.P. Montagner, P. Tarits, J.F. Karczewski, S. Etchemendy, C. Dawe, D. Neuhauser, P. McGill, J. C. Koenig, J. Savary, M. Begnaud, and M. Pasyanos (1998). Seismic experiment paves way for long-term seafloor observatories,  Eos Trans. AGU.79(26), June 30, 1998, 301, 308-309doi:10.1029/98EO00220.

Stakes, D., J. McClain, T. VanZandt, P. McGill, and M. Begnaud (1998). Corehole seismometer development for low-noise seismic data in a long-term seafloor observatory, Geophys. Res. Lett.25(14), 2745-2748doi:10.1029/98GL01937.

Steck, L. K., M. L. Begnaud, W. S. Phillips, and R. J. Stead (2011). Tomography of crustal P and S travel times across the western United States, JGR: Solid Earth116, no. B11doi:10.1029/2011JB008260.

Steck, L. K., W. S. Phillips, K. Mackey, M. L. Begnaud, R. J. Stead, and C. A. Rowe (2009). Seismic tomography of crustal P and S across Eurasia, Geophysical Journal International177no. 181-92doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04109.x.

Syracuse, E. M., W. S. Phillips, M. Maceira, and M. L., Begnaud (2017). Identifying and correcting timing errors at seismic stations in and around Iran, Seismological Research Letters, doi:10.1785/0220170113.