Fresno State Geophysics

Regional and subregional crustal magnetic field inversion for the Martian south polar area using altitude-cognizant gradient vector Slepian functions. See our Mars South Pole paper on my publications site.
Students using electrical resistivity tomography to image a farming-impeding rock-hard soil layer (hardpan). See top row right image for results.
Results from electrical resistivity tomography mapping of hardpan (see top row center image). Hardpan is the conductive layer with gap from hardpan removal.
Students using GPR on campus for educational purposes..
Earth crustal magnetic field inversion result from only regional data at 300 km satellite altitude over North America using internal- and external-source altitude cognizant gradient vector Slepian functions.
Volumetric finite element mesh of El Capitan (in Yosemite National Park). Prepared for electrical resistivity tomography on El Capitan's rock avalanche.

Alain Plattner CV

Welcome to the website of the Fresno State geophysics group led by Alain Plattner.

We are part of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at California State University, Fresno.

You can find more information about current and past research on the research page. The publications page contains links to pdfs of published articles. You can install Matlab/Octave functions to construct and plot vector Slepian functions using the installation scripts and demo functions on this Git repository, which will automatically download the software from Slepian_alpha through Slepian_hotel, obtain the data files from Frederik Simons' repository, and setup the folder structure. If you would like access to our most recent software that I used in our research on Mars then please send an email to Alain Plattner (aplattner (at) csufresno (dot) edu).


About me

I am interested in all aspects of numerical modeling and parameter estimation that arise within geosciences or related fields. My background is in computational geophysics (PhD at ETH Zurich) and mathematics (M.Sc. at University of Basel). Before my appointment at Fresno State I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University working with Frederik Simons

My main research focus is on planetary potential fields such as magnetic and gravity fields, and on calculating these fields from satellite data. I am also interested in near-surface and applied geophysics, in particular in electrical resistivity tomography and ground penetrating radar.

My PhD at ETH Zurich was in the field of near surface geophysics. In this research I developed and implemented an adaptive algorithm for electrical resistivity tomography.


May 26, 2017

I just released the software package for planetary magnetic and gravity field inversions using a new type of vector Slepian functions. See the Software page for more details. The following repository contains installation scripts, instructions, and demos:

Sept 2, 2016

The page Equipment now contains an inventory of our equipment, ready to use for student research in the Central Valley and close-by regions.

July 1, 2016

The near-surface Octave/Matlab programs developed for teaching near-surface seismics (Seism-O) and ground penetrating radar (GPR-O) are now available on NSGeophysics. See my software page for more information.

June 23, 2016

The Slepian GitHub wiki page now contains detailed instructions and installation scripts for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

June 21, 2016

The setup script and the initialization and demo functions for the vector Slepian Octave/Matlab software are now hosted on a special GitHub repository Slepian.

June 6, 2016

I have started uploading my Matlab/Octave software to construct and use vector Slepian functions to GitHub. The software is free and easiest to set up using the instructions on the wiki page.


Background figure

The figure in the background shows the radial component of Earth's crustal magnetic field up to spherical-harmonic degree 100 recovered from simulated radomly located noisy data points at varying satellite altitude only available over North America.


Alain Plattner
Earth and Environmental Sciences
California State University, Fresno
2576 E. San Ramon Ave. M/S ST24
Fresno, California 93740

Tel: +1 559 278 6624
Email: aplattner (at) csufresno (dot) edu