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Direct monitoring of active geohazards: emerging geophysical tools for deep-water assessments

Direct monitoring of active geohazards: emerging geophysical tools for deep-water assessments
Direct monitoring of active geohazards: emerging geophysical tools for deep-water assessments
Seafloor networks of cables, pipelines, and other infrastructure underpin our daily lives, providing communication links, information, and energy supplies. Despite their global importance, these networks are vulnerable to damage by a number of natural seafloor hazards, including landslides, turbidity currents, fluid flow, and scour. Conventional geophysical techniques, such as high-resolution reflection seismic and side-scan sonar, are commonly employed in geohazard assessments. These conventional tools provide essential information for route planning and design; however, such surveys provide only indirect evidence of past processes and do not observe or measure the geohazard itself. As such, many numerical-based impact models lack field-scale calibration, and much uncertainty exists about the triggers, nature, and frequency of deep-water geohazards. Recent advances in technology now enable a step change in their understanding through direct monitoring. We outline some emerging monitoring tools and how they can quantify key parameters for deepwater geohazard assessment. Repeat seafloor surveys in dynamic areas show that solely relying on evidence from past deposits can lead to an under-representation of the geohazard events. Acoustic Doppler current profiling provides new insights into the structure of turbidity currents, whereas instrumented mobile sensors record the nature of movement at the base of those flows for the first time. Existing and bespoke cabled networks enable high bandwidth, low power, and distributed measurements of parameters such as strain across large areas of seafloor. These techniques provide valuable new measurements that will improve geohazard assessments and should be deployed in a complementary manner alongside conventional geophysical tools.
1873-0604
427-444
Clare, M.A.
2b5fe9d9-a4fa-4c54-b7ed-337d15b1c4cf
Vardy, M.E.
8dd019dc-e57d-4b49-8f23-0fa6d246e69d
Cartigny, M.J.B.
d252d7b1-16c6-47b1-bf86-8087070934ce
Talling, P.J.
cda7fee6-bdff-4987-b203-450d1ce01179
Himsworth, M.D.
195f5fec-ff2b-49b1-a862-4ecf0e9a1e8c
Dix, J.K.
efbb0b6e-7dfd-47e1-ae96-92412bd45628
Harris, J.M.
112534fb-2b02-446f-88fc-3e78358655d7
Whitehouse, R.J.S.
692854d1-fee7-4425-8254-a20f5a8eca93
Belal, Mohammad
33550de9-0df1-4c90-bae6-3eb65c62778a
Clare, M.A.
2b5fe9d9-a4fa-4c54-b7ed-337d15b1c4cf
Vardy, M.E.
8dd019dc-e57d-4b49-8f23-0fa6d246e69d
Cartigny, M.J.B.
d252d7b1-16c6-47b1-bf86-8087070934ce
Talling, P.J.
cda7fee6-bdff-4987-b203-450d1ce01179
Himsworth, M.D.
195f5fec-ff2b-49b1-a862-4ecf0e9a1e8c
Dix, J.K.
efbb0b6e-7dfd-47e1-ae96-92412bd45628
Harris, J.M.
112534fb-2b02-446f-88fc-3e78358655d7
Whitehouse, R.J.S.
692854d1-fee7-4425-8254-a20f5a8eca93
Belal, Mohammad
33550de9-0df1-4c90-bae6-3eb65c62778a

Clare, M.A., Vardy, M.E., Cartigny, M.J.B., Talling, P.J., Himsworth, M.D., Dix, J.K., Harris, J.M., Whitehouse, R.J.S. and Belal, Mohammad (2017) Direct monitoring of active geohazards: emerging geophysical tools for deep-water assessments. Near Surface Geophysics, 15 (4), 427-444. (doi:10.3997/1873-0604.2017033).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Seafloor networks of cables, pipelines, and other infrastructure underpin our daily lives, providing communication links, information, and energy supplies. Despite their global importance, these networks are vulnerable to damage by a number of natural seafloor hazards, including landslides, turbidity currents, fluid flow, and scour. Conventional geophysical techniques, such as high-resolution reflection seismic and side-scan sonar, are commonly employed in geohazard assessments. These conventional tools provide essential information for route planning and design; however, such surveys provide only indirect evidence of past processes and do not observe or measure the geohazard itself. As such, many numerical-based impact models lack field-scale calibration, and much uncertainty exists about the triggers, nature, and frequency of deep-water geohazards. Recent advances in technology now enable a step change in their understanding through direct monitoring. We outline some emerging monitoring tools and how they can quantify key parameters for deepwater geohazard assessment. Repeat seafloor surveys in dynamic areas show that solely relying on evidence from past deposits can lead to an under-representation of the geohazard events. Acoustic Doppler current profiling provides new insights into the structure of turbidity currents, whereas instrumented mobile sensors record the nature of movement at the base of those flows for the first time. Existing and bespoke cabled networks enable high bandwidth, low power, and distributed measurements of parameters such as strain across large areas of seafloor. These techniques provide valuable new measurements that will improve geohazard assessments and should be deployed in a complementary manner alongside conventional geophysical tools.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 August 2017
Published date: August 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413635
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413635
ISSN: 1873-0604
PURE UUID: 3fe013fe-e858-4339-b992-405294d6c2a0
ORCID for Mohammad Belal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5175-3158

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Date deposited: 30 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 00:49

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Contributors

Author: M.A. Clare
Author: M.E. Vardy
Author: M.J.B. Cartigny
Author: P.J. Talling
Author: M.D. Himsworth
Author: J.K. Dix
Author: J.M. Harris
Author: R.J.S. Whitehouse
Author: Mohammad Belal ORCID iD

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