The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences organises a regular series of research seminars throughout the academic year to which everyone is welcome to attend. Speakers - both external and internal to the University - will talk on topics related to all aspects of Earth Sciences.
Today's speaker is Dr Irene Manzella from the University of Plymouth.When natural phenomena are very complex and it is difficult to investigate them in the field, experimental research becomes a powerful tool to improve our understanding and analysis of the geophysical processes involved. In particular, in the study of hazardous flow dynamics, it is crucial to observe phenomena at small scale where things can be controlled and measured with accuracy. The use of an analogue model enables studying the influence of each parameter of interest, by controlling and changing one at a time, with known and consistent experimental conditions. It is also a fundamental tool to improve the implementation of numerical models in hazard assessment as validating and comparing them on well-constrained experiments helps identifying mechanisms and parameters that play a fundamental role in the natural process and therefore makes their extension to field events more reliable. In this framework, Irene will give you an overview of her research on tephra fall out and landslide propagation. Even if processes investigated are different, she uses a comprehensive approach that combines dedicated fluid and granular flow experiments, numerical modelling, and field data. This allows studying the different phenomena in details contributing in improving the assessment of the related hazard and risk.