11 March 2014

Forthcoming lectures: Leeds (tonight!), Durham, and Cockermouth

Posted by Dave Petley

In the next week or so I’ll be giving or chairing a number of lectures and events:

1. Yorkshire Geotechnical Group, Leeds

I’m giving a talk tonight to the Yorkshire Geotechnical Group entitled “Managing very large landslides”.  This will be held at the University of Leeds in Lecture Theatre A, School of Civil Engineering, LS2 9JT starting at 6:30 today (11th March).  This is the abstract for the talk:

Landslides in high mountain areas, such as the Himalayas and the Southern Alps of New Zealand, have the potential to cause very high levels of damage.  In most cases they are so large that it is impossible to mitigate them, such that other approaches need to be developed to manage the hazard.  This talk will focus on three case studies.  The first will explore the Attabad landslide, which in 2010 blocked the Hunza valley in Northern Pakistan, threatening 25,000 people with a dam burst flood.  The presenter was involved in a six month long project to manage the risk as the water level approached the overtopping point, which included the setting up of warning systems and the relocation of large numbers of people.  The second will explore the Gayari rock avalanche in Siachen, Pakistan, which killed 142 soldiers based at an army camp.  The author was involved in a programme of work to find and recover the remains of the victims, all of whom were buried 25 m below rock and ice debris from the landslide.  The third will examine the threats posed by the Utiku landslide in New Zealand, which is a very large but slow moving slide that threatens a railway and a strategic highway.  In each case the talk will examine the threats that the landslides posed and the lessons that can be learnt from their management.

2. A visiting lecture at Durham from Dr Sergio Sepulveda

Sergio Sepulveda from the University of Chile is currently working with us in Durham on a range of projects.  He will be giving a seminar on Thursday 13th March entitled “Landslides induced by mega thrust vs. shallow crustal earthquakes: Examples from the Chilean Andes”.  This will be held in room W007 in the Department of Geography at Durham University, DH1 3LE.  All welcome, but please email me at [email protected] to let me know you are coming (so that we have enough room!).  This is the abstract for the talk:

Earthquake-induced landslides tend to show different patterns of both size and geographic distribution depending on the seismic source mechanism. Examples from investigations of recent earthquakes in Chile at different latitudes from the Atacama desert down to Patagonia show how landslides triggered by moderately large (M 6.0-7.0), inland shallow crustal earthquakes tend to have higher density and larger volumes in comparison with those induced by large magnitude (M 7.5-9.0), megathrust earthquakes along the subduction plate boundary. These observations raise the question on the origin of prehistoric, giant size landslides widely distributed in the Andes uplands, which seem to be related with regional crustal faults. As many of these faults have recently found to be active, they may pose an unexpected landslide hazard for local communities.

3. Cafe Scientifique, Cockermouth, Cumbria

I will be leading a Cafe Scientifique event in Cockermouth in Cumbria on Landslides on Tuesday 18th March at 7:30 pm.  Details here.