Fred Day-Lewis

From SEG Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fred Day-Lewis
Fred Day-Lewis.jpeg
Notable awards Harold Mooney Award, 2023
Field Near-Surface Geophysics, Hydrogeophysics
Latest company Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
BSc Hydrology
PhD Hydrogeology
BSc university University of New Hampshire
PhD university Stanford University

Fred Day-Lewis

Fred Day-Lewis joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2021 as a chief geophysicist. Day-Lewis specializes in applied research projects related to subsurface characterization and monitoring, groundwater remediation, groundwater/surface-water exchange, geophysical inverse problems, thermal methods, hydrologic parameter estimation, and petrophysics.

Day-Lewis currently serves as an associate editor for the journal Groundwater and previously served as an associate editor for Water Resources Research, Geosphere, and Hydrogeology journals. He co-edited the American Geophysical Union monograph, Subsurface Hydrology: Data Integration for Properties and Processes. Day-Lewis is a past president of the American Geophysical Union Near Surface Geophysics Section, and past vice president of the Environmental and Engineering Geophysics Society. He was elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2015 for seminal contributions to hydrogeophysics. Prior to coming to PNNL, Day-Lewis worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for 18 years as a research hydrologist.

2023 Harold Mooney Award

Dr. Fred Day-Lewis receiving the Harold Mooney Award from SEG President-elect, Arthur Cheng at the SEG Near-Surface Geophysics Technical Section reception at IMAGE.

Please find the nomination letter written by Dr. Lee Slater.

It is a great pleasure to write this letter of nomination for Dr. Fred Day-Lewis in consideration for the 2023 SEG Harold Mooney Award. This nomination is supported by letters of recommendation from (1) Dr. Steven Holbrook, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and Geological Society of America; (2) Dr. John Lane, former Chief of the Hydrogeophysics Branch of the Office of Groundwater at the United States Geological Survey (USGS); (3) Dr. Kamini Singha, an internationally recognized hydrogeophysicist and former Darcy Lecturer. Dr. Day-Lewis is currently the Chief Scientist and a Laboratory Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). However, it is the professional service he has performed during the period 2003-2021 working for the USGS that embodies the spirit of the Mooney award, being bestowed for excellence in 'education, outreach efforts, professional service, or development of opportunities with other professional disciplines that employ geophysics’.

Prior to providing specifics on how Dr. Day-Lewis meets the Mooney award criteria, it is worth noting that he has had a remarkably productive career performing cutting edge basic and applied research in hydrogeophysics. Dr. Day-Lewis acquired his Ph.D. from Stanford University where he made major advances in the use of cross-borehole radar tomography for understanding flow and transport in fractured rock aquifers. Having collaborated with Dr. Day-Lewis on a number of federal projects, I have concluded that he is probably the smartest hydrogeophysicist that I know. It is therefore unsurprising to me that he immediately picked up a faculty position at Bucknell University upon departure from Stanford. Between 2001-2005 he established Bucknell as a center of excellence in near surface geophysics. Dr. Day-Lewis could have chosen to remain in academia. If he had done so, I am certain that he would have been recruited by a top-tier research institution and he would now be running a major academic research program. However, Dr. Day-Lewis felt a strong draw to use his geophysical expertise and knowledge to serve both his country and his professional community. Even as an undergraduate, Dr. Day-Lewis interned with and was drawn to the USGS, and he aspired to work at the former “Branch of Geophysical Applications and Support,” later renamed the Hydrogeophysics Branch (HGB). Consequently, in 2003, he jumped at an opportunity to join the USGS as a hydrogeophysicist, where his duties expanded to supporting federal/state cooperators by providing geophysics support to applied research projects, providing training/workshops, engaging in technology transfer efforts to promote geophysics and supervision/training of a large number of interns that came through the USGS to learn geophysics in field settings.

Dr. Day-Lewis played an important role within the HGB from 2003-2020. During this time period, HGB burned a path of innovation in near surface geophysics, being an early adopter of new technologies, examples including waterborne electrical imaging, cross-borehole ground penetrating radar (GPR), new borehole logging tools (e.g., flowmeter, nuclear magnetic resonance) and distributed temperature sensing. All of these activities were done in the spirit of the Mooney award, involving unprecedented education, outreach, professional service and development opportunities. He ultimately served as acting HGB chief but, more importantly, dedicated 18 years of his career to leadership roles focused on the mission of advancing geophysics in groundwater investigations both nationally and internationally.

Considering the Mooney criterion ‘excellence in education’, Dr. Day-Lewis has provided geophysics training to the USGS and other agencies, including workshops for the Afghan Geological Survey, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Battelle, as well as training of environmental professionals on the benefits of geophysics across numerous states (NJ, MA, CT) and within Department of Defense (DoD) technology transfer programs (e.g., the Navy RITS program, and DoD’s program focused on remediation of contaminated groundwater (SERDP/ESTCP)). Despite leaving academia in 2005, Dr. Day-Lewis has committed himself to mentoring and co-advising students (M.Sc., Ph.D. and postdoctoral) from numerous academic institutions, including U. Connecticut, Colorado School of Mines, Rutgers University, Oregon State, University and University of New Hampshire along with postdoctoral scientists via USGS scholarship programs.

Considering next the ‘excellence in outreach’ criterion, Dr. Day-Lewis’s CV is overflowing with contributions to workshops developed for a wide range of organizations, including the National Groundwater Association, Battelle through its ‘Learning Labs’ program, EPA through its CLU-IN series, DoD through SERDP/ESTCP/Navy RITS, state organizations for licensing environmental professionals, as well as many seminars and talks at a wide range of universities. Dr. Day-Lewis’s CV also contains an exhaustive list of activities that demonstrate an overwhelming commitment to ‘excellence in professional service’. He has served as Associate Editor for numerous water-related journals, including Water Resources Research (WRR), Groundwater, Geosphere and Hydrogeology Journal, where, in each case, he served to promote geophysics for groundwater exploration. He served on the board of the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (including as Vice-President of Committees) and as the President of American Geophysical Union (AGU) Near Surface (NS) section. In summer 2022, he served as the editor for the Hydrogeophysics special issue of The Leading Edge.

Finally, considering ‘excellence in development of opportunities with other professional disciplines that employ geophysics’, Dr. Day-Lewis has played a leading role within the former HGB on software development with a focus on making geophysics more accessible to hydrologists and engineers.

Many of these software tools (examples focus on resistivity imaging, selection of geophysical technologies for investigating fractured rock, flowmeter logging and selection of technologies for investigating groundwater/surface water interaction) have been published as technical notes. He has educated hydrologists and engineers about geophysical methods through training courses. He has served on the AGU/SEG collaboration committee, contributed a geophysics chapter to the new Groundwater ebook, co-edited an AGU monograph on geophysical data integration, served on an advisory board for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences’ Critical Zone Collaborative Network, and participated in a USGS/Denmark working group to advance the state of groundwater modeling through the use of geophysical information.

In summary, it is clear that Dr. Day-Lewis has chosen to pursue a career that represents the very essence of what the Mooney award seeks to recognize. His contributions cover every aspect of the award criteria in a way that no other member of our near surface geophysical community can match. By choosing a career path that, at the very heart, is focused on professional service, Dr. Day-Lewis has promoted near surface geophysics in ways that have positively impacted a wide range of researchers, environmental professionals, regulators and students. He has done all this whilst blazing a path of cutting edge basic and applied research in geophysics, with 93 publications (2727 citations) on a wide range of hydrogeophysics topics to his name. His achievements have been previously honored by fellowship of the

Geological Society of America and a recent prestigious appointment as a Lab Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. However, it is the Mooney award that would provide the opportunity to recognize the remarkable contributions that Dr. Day-Lewis has made to our near surface geophysics profession. I cannot think of a more deserving individual.

Research Interests

  • Hydrogeophysics
  • Groundwater/surface-water exchange
  • Real-time geophysical monitoring
  • Predictive data analytics, inverse modeling, and parameter estimation
  • Digital signal processing

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geological Society of America
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • National Groundwater Association



  • Day-Lewis F.D., P.D. Royer, L.A. Placzek, and K.E. Markham. 2022. "A Multi-Scale Temperature-Based Strategy to Map Hydrologic Exchange Flows in Highly Dynamic Systems." Frontiers in Water 10. PNNL-SA-178043. doi:10.3389/feart.2022.1070393
  • McAliley W.A., F.D. Day-Lewis, D.A. Rey, M. Briggs, A.M. Shapiro, and D. Werkema. 2022. "Application of Recursive Estimation to Heat Tracing for Groundwater/Surface-Water Exchange." Water Resources Research 58, no. 6:e2021WR030443. PNNL-SA-165706. doi:10.1029/2021WR030443
  • Robinson J.L., J.N. Thomle, D.P. McFarland, K.A. Deters, M.L. Rockhold, F.D. Day-Lewis, and V.L. Freedman. 2022. "Integration of Large-Scale Electrical Imaging into Geological Framework Development and Refinement." Environmental Processes 9, no. 2:Art. No. 21. PNNL-SA-166767. doi:10.1007/s40710-022-00570-2
  • Singha K., T.C. Johnson, F.D. Day-Lewis, and L. Slater. 2022. "Electrical Imaging for Hydrogeology." In Groundwater Geophysics. Guelph:The Groundwater Project. PNNL-SA-159896.


  • Shapiro A.M., and F.D. Day-Lewis. 2021. "Estimating and Forecasting Time-Varying Groundwater Recharge in Fractured Rock: A State-Space Formulation with Preferential and Diffuse Flow to the Water Table." Water Resources Research 57, no. 9:Article No. e2020WR029110. PNNL-SA-165293. doi:10.1029/2020WR029110


  • Johnson T.C., R. Versteeg, F.D. Day-Lewis, W. Major, and J.W. Lane. 2015. "Time-Lapse Electrical Geophysical Monitoring of Amendment-Based Biostimulation." Groundwater 53, no. 6:920-932. PNNL-SA-115558. doi:10.1111/gwat.12291
  • Singha K., F.D. Day-Lewis, T.C. Johnson, and L.D. Slater. 2015. "Advances in interpretation of subsurface processes with time-lapse electrical imaging." Hydrological Processes 29, no. 6:1549-1576. PNNL-SA-110809. doi:10.1002/hyp.10280


  • Johnson T.C., L. Slater, D. Ntarlagiannis, F.D. Day-Lewis, and M. Elwaseif. 2012. "Monitoring groundwater-surface water interaction using time-series and time-frequency analysis of transient three-dimensional electrical resistivity changes." Water Resources Research 48. PNNL-SA-85275. doi:10.1029/2012WR011893


  • Johnson T.C., R.J. Versteeg, A.L. Ward, F.D. Day-Lewis, and A. Revil. 2010. "Improved hydrogeophysical characterization and monitoring through parallel modeling and inversion of time-domain resistivity andinduced-polarization data." Geophysics 75, no. 4:WA27-WA41. PNNL-SA-69316. doi:10.1190/1.3475513
  • Slater L., D. Ntarlagiannis, F.D. Day-Lewis, K. Mwakanyamale, R.J. Versteeg, A.L. Ward, and C.E. Strickland, et al. 2010. "Use of Electrical Imaging and Distributed Temperature Sensing Methods to Characterize Surface Water-Groundwater Exchange Regulating Uranium Transport at the Hanford 300 Area, Washington." Water Resources Research 46, no. 10:Paper No. W10533. PNNL-SA-69319. doi:10.1029/2010WR009110