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PhD Scholarship in Submarine Landslide Dynamics and Impact on Offshore Wind Infrastructure

   Aura CDT

   Monday, June 06, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The over-arching aim of the project is to explore post-failure mobility of submarine landslides and quantify their impact on offshore wind infrastructure. By multiphase and multiscale modelling of subaqueous landslides with analytical, and numerical approaches, this research helps decision makers manage safe offshore renewable developments. After failure initiation, materials evolve from intact solid soils to fluid-like debris flow and even turbidity currents. The dynamics of motion become of interest once the sliding mass moves downslope, controlling the run-out distance, and potential impact on offshore wind infrastructure. Attention has previously been paid to predicting run-out features like distance using experimental, numerical and theoretical approaches. However, landslide dynamics with different initial conditions and water entrainment, and the direct impacts to OSW facilities, remain to be understood more clearly.

The specific aims of the project are as follows:

Aim 1: study dynamic motions of submarine landslide and quantify likely ranges of runout distances, maximum velocities and maximum volumes for different initial landslide conditions.

Aim 2: quantify slide mass impact on OSW infrastructure (mainly fixed OSW foundations and cables) and assess integrity of the infrastructure interacted with different landslide phases.

This PhD scholarship is offered by the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment; a partnership between the Universities of Durham, Hull, Newcastle and Sheffield. The successful applicant will undertake a PG-Dip training year at the University of Hull before completing their PhD research at Durham University.

For more information visit Or if you have a direct question about the project, please email and we will forward the query to the relevant supervisor. Please do not contact the project supervisors directly.

The Supervisors are:

Dr Wangcheng Zhang, Durham University

Prof Charles Augarde, Durham University

Prof Will Coombs, Durham University

If you have received a First-class Honours degree or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in in Engineering, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics or Physics. we would like to hear from you.

Applications are made via an online form. Visit the Aura CDT website for more information:

Funding Notes

Funding is available for Home students only. The full-time Aura CDT PhD Scholarship includes fees and maintenance (£16,062 per annum, 2022/23 rate) for four years, depending on satisfactory progress.

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