School of Earth and Environment

Mark Hildyard Dr Mark Hildyard

Lecturer: Geomechanics

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 35255
Email address:
Room: 8.01, Staff Centre

Affiliation: Institute of Applied Geoscience, Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics


Mark Hildyard has over 23 years research experience in rock mechanics and seismology. He has worked in academia since 2005. Prior to that, he spent 16 years in applied research for the mining industry working for the Chamber of Mines Research Laboratories and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. This work focused on understanding and improving the rockburst problems experienced in deep-level gold and platinum mines, and included developing numerical models to study seismic wave propagation around underground openings and their interaction with fractured rock. Much of his research has focused on producing full waveform models, which match and explain the underlying system of fractures. In 2005 he received the Manual Rocha Medal from the International Society for Rock Mechanics ( for this work. He is (along with Peter Cundall) a principal developer of the program WAVE, a three-dimensional finite difference code used to model seismic wave propagation in the vicinity of underground openings in fractured rock. He has applied these models to a range of interesting problems including understanding source mechanics in earthquakes and in rockbursts, modelling vibrations due to underground or surface blasting, improving the interpretation of fractures from seismic waveforms (for various projects in petroleum exploration, mine stability, and the stability of nuclear waste repositories), and even for detecting fractures in railway lines using the rail line as a waveguide. His research interests encompass developing novel numerical models and applying such models in any fields involving elastic waves or fractures.


BSc (Elec Eng) (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) 1985

MSc (Eng) (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) 1989

PhD (University of Liverpool) 2002

Research Interests

- Numerical models

- Rockburst and earthquake source mechanisms

- Seismic wave interaction with fractures

- Seismic wave interaction with underground openings

- Modelling discrete fracture networks

- Vibrations due to blasting

- Earthquake early warning methods

- Dynamic fracture growth and damage


  • Titarenko S; Hildyard M (2017) Hybrid multicore/vectorisation technique applied to the elastic wave equation on a staggered grid, Computer Physics Communications, 216, pp.53-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cpc.2017.02.022
  • He YX; Angus DA; Clark RA; Hildyard MW (2016) Analysis of time-lapse travel-time and amplitude changes to assess reservoir compartmentalization, Geophysical Prospecting, 64, pp.54-67. doi: 10.1111/1365-2478.12250
  • He YX; Angus DA; Yuan SY; Blanchard TD; Clark RA; Hildyard MW (2015) Time-lapse seismic interpretation in τ-p SPACE1 using pre-stack data, Journal of Seismic Exploration, 24, pp.475-496.
  • Wright; T; Houlie N; Hildyard; M; Iwabuchi T (2012) Real-time, reliable magnitudes for large earthquakes from 1 Hz GPS Precise Point Positioning: the 2011 Tohoku-Oki (Japan) earthquake, Geophysical Research Letters, . doi: 10.1029/2012GL051894
  • Hildyard MW; Rietbrock A (2010) T-pd, a Damped Predominant Period Function with Improvements for Magnitude Estimation, B SEISMOL SOC AM, 100, pp.684-698. doi: 10.1785/0120080368
  • Hildyard MW; Nippress SEJ; Rietbrock A (2008) Event Detection and Phase Picking Using a Time-Domain Estimate of Predominate Period T-pd, B SEISMOL SOC AM, 98, pp.3025-3032. doi: 10.1785/0120070272
  • Hildyard MW (2007) Manuel Rocha Medal Recipient - Wave interaction with underground openings in fractured rock, ROCK MECH ROCK ENG, 40, pp.531-561. doi: 10.1007/s00603-007-0158-3
  • Hildyard MW; Young RP; Collins DS; Pettitt W (2005) Seismic wave propagation to diagnose the state of fracturing, J S AFR I MIN METALL, 105, pp.437-446.
  • Hildyard MW; Young RP (2002) Modelling seismic waves around underground openings in fractured rock, PURE APPL GEOPHYS, 159, pp.247-276.
  • Hagan TO; Milev AM; Spottiswoode SM; Hildyard MW; Grodner M; Rorke AJ; Finnie GJ; Reddy N; Haile AT; Le Bron KR; Grave DM (2001) Simulated rockburst experiment - an overview, J S AFR I MIN METALL, 101, pp.217-222.
  • Hildyard MW; Milev AM (2001) Simulated rockburst experiment: Development of a numerical model for seismic wave, propagation from the blast, and forward analysis, J S AFR I MIN METALL, 101, pp.235-245.
  • Hildyard MW; Milev AM (2001) Simulated rockburst experiment: Numerical back-analysis of seismic wave interaction with the tunnel, J S AFR I MIN METALL, 101, pp.223-234.
  • Napier JAL; Daehnke A; Dede T; Hildyard MW; Kuijpers JS; Malan DF; Sellers EJ; Turner PA (1997) Quantification of slope fracture zone behaviour in deep level gold mines, J S AFR I MIN METALL, 97, pp.119-134.