Submarine slides and tsunami

Submarine slides are large bodies of sediment the rapidly destabilise. If they occur in shallow enough water they can cause large and destructive tsunamis. The Storegga slide occurred 8125 years ago off the coast of Norway. It generated a large tsunami that reached the UK, generating waves of upto 20m on the Shetlands.

I carry out numerical simulations of the slides and resulting waves to try and understand how the slide moved and what impact such events could have on the UK.

My recent work has concentrated on the Storegga slide and the flooding of Doggerland – an ancient island in the southern North Sea. My talk at EGU 2014 was covered by the BBC and others, including Newsround.

I have also been involved in simulating the largest landslide ever found in the Great Barrier Reef – the Viper Slide. This slide occurred some 20-14 ka. The slide is small, compared to the Storegga slide, but may have produced 6m waves at the coastline when sea level was 70m lower, 20 ka.

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