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ESR10: Modelling of seismic waves generated by submarine landslides and tsunamis


Tsunamis are usually caused by earthquakes whose seismic waves help to develop tsunami early warning systems. In addition, tsunamis can also be generated by submarine landslides, becoming a major hazard for infrastructure and population. These landslides can be very large, but they are hardly observable, and many open questions surround their dynamics. In this project, mathematical and numerical models will be developed describing both submarine and the subsequent tsunami activity, and simulating the seismic waves generated by these processes.

This will make it possible to improve hazard assessments and to design more efficient warning systems for submarine landslides and tsunamis, based on seismic detection.

Landsliding will be modelled as a two-phase problem accounting for the influence of the interstitial fluid that play a key role on the evolution of the landslide. Other important attributes are the dispersive effects that are essential for the correct evolution of tsunami waves mainly close to the coastal area. The force generated by submarine landslides will be inverted from seismic data using Bayesian methods. Numerical approximation and computational implementation will be also developed for the proposed mathematical model. The simulations will be compared to low frequency seismic data from available recorded cases in order to validate and calibrate the numerical model.

Link to the euraxess advertisement:

Keywords: numerical simulation, mathematical modelling, landslides, tsunamis, seismic waves.

Host institute: University of Seville, Spain

Supervisors: Gladys Narbona Reina, Enrique D. Fernández Nieto (U. Seville, Spain)

Co-supervisor: Heidrun Kopp (GEOMAR, Germany)

Collaborations: During the project, some collaborations are envisaged, e.g. with the Instituto Español de Oceanografía, the Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris and other institutions participating in the EnvSeis project dealing with landslides processes.