Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability
Find Expertise logo

Profile Pages

View homepages for scientists and researchers. Explore potential collaborations and project opportunities. Search the extensive range of capabilities by keyword to quickly find who and what you are looking for.

Kenneth Michael Cleveland

Mike Cleveland

Phone (505) 667-1511


  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Geoscience
  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Seismic analysis
  • Earthquakes
  • Science of Signatures - Remote and Standoff Sensing
  • Seismic analysis
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Inverse modeling


My research focuses on seismic source analysis. Specifically, I am interested in how modern, waveform-based methods can be used to improve seismic source parameters (i.e. location, depth, yield, and focal mechanisms). I am also interested in development of a modern analytic explosive source model. Related to the development of this model, I am focused on developing a physics-based understanding of shear-wave generation at the source.


Ph.D. in Geosciences, Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 2013       Advisor: Charles J. Ammon       Thesis: Fault Rupture Segmentation       PhD Minor: Computational Science B.A. in Geosciences, Department of Geosciences, Skidmore College, 2006       Summa Cum Laude


LANL Positions

2016 - present  Los Alamos National Laboratory — Scientist 2

My research includes continuation of previous work on improved seismic location, magnitude, and focal parameters. Recent research has focused on application of regional- to local-distance Rg surface waves to explosion monitoring, including their excitation and propagation. Rg research contributes to broader interests in developing a modern explosive source model, including investigation of shear-wave generation from an explosive source.

2013 - 2016      Los Alamos National Laboratory — Postdoctoral Researcher

Working with mentors Howard Patton and George Randall, my research focuses on using seismic observations to study seismic sources. This includes developing new methods of calculating seismic location, magnitude, and focal parameters, with emphasis on remote regions and utilizing large datasets. I have also performed detailed investigation of the P-wave attenuation beneath the North Korea region, important for accurate calculation of regional seismic magnitudes.

Summer 2011   Los Alamos National Laboratory — Seismology Internship

Researched seismic anisotropy beneath Iran using Love wave group velocity. This work was conducted in collaboration with Monica Maceira.


Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union

Seismological Society of America



Defense Threat Reduction Agency:     BAA Research Grant — “Low-yield seismic source analysis and discrimination using local to regional seismic observations,” 2016 (3-years, $300k)

Air Force Research Laboratory:     BAA Research Grant — “Precise relative earthquake location, magnitude, and focal parameters using surface and body waves,” 2015 (2-years, $80k)

Pennsylvania State University: Graduate Colloquium Award — second in Poster Presentation, 2010; second in Oral Presentation, 2013 P.D. Krynine Memorial Fund for travel, December 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Anne C. Wilson Award, 2007

Los Alamos Nation Laboratory: Student Symposium — first in Geophysics Poster Presentation, Summer 2011

Skidmore College: Phi Beta Kappa Society — National Honors Society Member, 2006 Mente et Malleo Research Grant, 2005

University of Cincinnati: Alpha Lambda Delta — National Honors Society Member, 2001 Cincinnatus Scholarship — 2001  



Cleveland, K. M., T. F. VanDeMark, and C. J. Ammon, Precise relative locations for earthquakes in the northeast Pacific region, J. Geophys. Res.,120, doi:10.1002/2015JB012161.

Cleveland, K. M. and C.J. Ammon, Precise relative earthquake magnitudes from cross correlation, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 2015.

Cleveland, K. M., C. J. Ammon, and T. Lay, Large earthquake processes in the northern Vanuatu subduction zone, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 119, doi:10.1002/2014JB011289, 2014

Cleveland, K. M. and C. J. Ammon, Precise relative relocation using surface waves, J. Geophys. Res., 118(6), 2893-2904, 2013.

Ammon, C. J., T. Lay, H. Kanamori, and K. M. Cleveland, A rupture model of the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake, Earth Planets and Space, 63, 693-696, 2011.