Jean Virieux

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Jean Virieux
Jean Virieux 2 headshot.png
PhD university University Denis Diderot--Paris

Biography 2015 [1]

Jean Virieux, fellow of Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm), professor at the Université Joseph Fourier- Grenoble, and member of the Institut Universitaire de France, is a seismologist working at the Institut des Sciences de la Terre (ISTerre). He earned his PhD in "Earthquakes: rupture and waves" in 1986 at the University Denis Diderot-Paris under the supervision of Pr. R. Madariaga.

Honors and Awards

  • 2015 - SEG Distinguished Lecturer, Spring 2015
  • 2013 - EAGE Erasmus Award
  • 2012 - Adion Medal of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur
  • 2012 - Barrabé Award of the Société Géologique de France
  • 2009 - Jaffé Grand Award of Académie des Sciences
  • 2009 - Bright Spot (with his co-workers)
  • 2008 - SEG Best Paper in Geophysics Award with co-authors Hafedh Ben-Hadj-Ali and Stéphane Operto
  • 2006 - EAGE Cagnaird Medal


Virieux's research is oriented to seismic-wave propagation modeling through field experiments and theoretical modeling in heterogeneous media. Traveltime tomographies based on ray theory or full-waveform inversion based on volumetric numerical methods solving elastodynamic equations allow high-resolution imaging of crustal structures (Mt. Vesuve/Italy; Corinth Gulf/Greece; Vallhall/Norway). Multiparametric reconstruction of the earth at various scales from 3D important databases is the current challenge of engineers and researchers in the framework of the consortium SEISCOPE supported by many industrial enterprises led in part by Virieux. Seismic dynamic-rupture imaging related to earthquakes has also attracted his attention (because he completed his thesis on this topic) through international collaborations and national support from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

Biography 2008 [2]

Jean Virieux has been trained (1978) at the École Normale Supérieure (Paris) in physics. He defended a French state thesis in 1986. He has been a professor at the Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis since 1991. His main scientific interest is seismic wave propagation and related topics such as seismic source imaging and seismic structure imaging.

Best Paper in Geophysics 2008

Dr. Virieaux shared the award for Best Paper in Geophysics in 2008 with Hafedh Ben-Hadj-Ali and Stéphane Operto.[3]


  1. [SEG Distinguished Lecturer, Spring 2015]
  2. Contributors, GEOPHYSICS Vol. 72, No. 5, pp. SM301-SM304
  3. Ben-Hadj-Ali, H., S. Operto, and J. Virieux (2008). ”Velocity model building by 3D frequency-domain, full-waveform inversion of wide-aperture seismic data.” GEOPHYSICS, 73(5), VE101–VE117. doi: 10.1190/1.2957948[