marine geohazards and sedimentology

Smart boulders measure fast and powerful seafloor avalanches

The heavy frame (800 kg) that was moved by the flow, copyright 2017 to MBARI

Robotic sensors disguised as boulders, or ‘smart boulders’, have been used to measure the initiation and evolution of huge seafloor avalanches for the first time, revealing some surprising findings that will help inform where best to lay the seafloor cables that keep the internet running.

The planet’s largest landslides happen on submarine volcanoes

Large volume submarine landslides, triggered by the inception and growth of submarine volcanoes, represent among the largest mass movements of sediment on Earth’s surface.

Study uncovers new evidence for assessing tsunami risk from very large volcanic island landslides

Extracting a core from the seabed. Credit Russell Wynn.

The risk posed by tsunami waves generated by Canary Island landslides may need to be re-evaluated, according to researchers at the National Oceanography Centre. Their findings suggest that these landslides result in smaller tsunami waves than previously thought by some authors, because of the processes involved.

New tool for measuring frozen gas in ocean floor sediments

A lump of gas hydrate extracted from the seabed

A new collaboration between the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and the University of Southampton is seeking to improve geophysical remote sensing of seafloor methane gas and hydrate through innovative laboratory experimental and theoretical studies.