Singh was born and raised in Varanasi, also known as Banaras, India and earned a PhD in theoretical seismology at the University of Toronto, Canada, including a year studying at the University of Cambridge, England. He joined the group of Professor Albert Tarantola at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris as a post-doc in 1988 and then moved to the University of Cambridge as a researcher in 1990 where he developed a group in theoretical seismology. Soon after arriving in Cambridge, Singh realized the importance of combining seismic reflection and refraction data and started developing new joint tomographic and full waveform inversion techniques. He also recognized the potential of these techniques in solving fundamental scientific problems and started applying them to gas hydrates, magma chambers, and crustal and lithospheric structures. He also recognized the importance of theory in seismic survey design, and implemented over/under streamer configuration to enhance frequency bandwidth for deep seismic imaging and ultra-long offset data recording for crustal studies. In 1997, he designed a combined 3D reflection and refraction experiment to study crustal structure at ocean spreading center. He led the establishment of the LITHOS Group to develop methods to jointly analyze seismic and marine electromagnetic data for sub-basalt imaging in 1998. Soon after, he moved to the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris to lead the creation of the Marine Geoscience Department that he ran until 2008, while keeping a part-time position at the University of Cambridge to maintain the LITHOS Group between the two institutions. After the 2004 great Andaman Sumatra earthquake and tsunami, he persuaded Schlumberger to fund the acquisition and processing of long offset seismic data offshore Sumatra in 2006 and later persuaded CGG to fund a similar experiment in 2009, deploying a 15 km long streamer, the longest ever deployed. In 2015, he partnered again with Schlumberger to acquire ultra-deep seismic reflection data across the Atlantic Ocean to image the base of the lithosphere down to 100 km depth. In 2012, he created the Paris Exploration Geophysics (GPX) Group, in collaboration with Les Mines ParisTech and other industry partners, and started an international master of research in exploration geophysics, a unique program in France. Singh is currently a Visiting Professor at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
Singh has supervised more than 75 PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, published more than 160 papers in peer-reviewed international journals, ranging from Geophysical Prospecting to Nature and Science. He was elected American Geophysical Union Fellowin 2010, awarded the Grand Prix of the French Academy of Science in 2011, and the European Research Council Advance Grant in 2013. He was a frequent visitor to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, and has been sharing his time between Paris and Singapore since 2013. Singh likes developing new methods to address fundamental problems and believes that science is great fun.
Stratigraphic Control of Frontal Décollement Level and Structural Vergence and Implications for Tsunamigenic Earthquake Hazard in Sumatra, Indonesia. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 20, (2019).
Evidence of pervasive trans-tensional deformation in the northwestern Wharton Basin in the 2012 earthquakes rupture area. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 502, 174-186. (2018).
Insight Into Frontal Seismogenic Zone in the Mentawai Locked Region From Seismic Full Waveform Inversion of Ultralong Offset Streamer Data. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 19(11), 4342-4365. (2018).
Water-rich sublithospheric melt channel in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Nature Geoscience. 11, 65–69. (2017).