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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Landslides glide plane mechanics using seismic reflection data and numerical modelling

Currently Active: 

On the 20th of June, 1996, a multi-phase landslide that initiated under water and retrogressed onto land ultimately killed four people, destroyed several houses, and undermined a major highway in Finneidfjord, Norway, an area with a known history of landsliding in the Holocene (Morgan et al. 2009). The aim of this study is to relate the seismic properties of the sediments to their geotechnical parameters for a geo-hazards assessment.


The objectives of this project are:

  • Full wave inversion of pre-stack seismic data to have a complete set of information related with the seismic data (Vp, Vs and density);
  • Find rock-physics relations between seismic features and geotechnical parameters;
  • If possible, a 3D model of the fjord basin containing the geotechnical parameters founded to evaluate landslides risk.
Figure 1
Figure 1

Acquisition of data in the field

A survey was carried out from 5th to 12th of September 2012 with the aim to mapping and studying the reasons for submarine landslides. The objectives of this survey were:

  • To acquire wide-angle high-resolution reflection and refraction data (multi-channel sparker, boomer and OBS) in the basin, on the foreshore slope and crossing the shoreline, where a terrestrial geophone array already exist. 
  • To install a number of piezometers at various locations and water depth to keep in situ for, at least, one year.





Figure 2
Figure 2

Key Contacts

Prof T. Henstock

Dr M. Vardy

Mr D. Santonico

PhDs and Other Opportunities


Related research groups

Geology and Geophysics
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