Name: Natasha ChapplowG0685622-2

Project Title: Field testing novel sensor systems for time-lapse monitoring of seafloor geohazards at global test sites

Cohort: 2017/18

Institution: Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University



My research interests are centred on improving our understanding of sea-bed hugging flows called turbidity currents, as they are volumetrically the most important sediment transport process on our planet. The rapid speeds (up to 20m/s) that these flows are capable of achieving is a key component of their destructive nature and accounts for the lack of direct and detailed monitoring of these events, hence they currently remain poorly understood.

Currently, my research focuses on the analysis of the first direct observations of turbidity currents in the deep ocean. Data is acquired via a series of instrumented moorings deployed along Monterey Canyon, a large submarine canyon, located offshore of California, USA. Through the development of numerical models, it will be possible to capture general insights into how these flows behave. In addition to validating these models against this unique field data, cutting-edge robotics including the next generation of sensor networks, will play a crucial role in demonstrating how advances in acoustic data transfer, self-propelling wave gliders, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) can contribute towards step changes in our understanding of turbidity currents.

Publications/Conference talks/Posters:

  • Chapplow, N., Talling, P., Cartigny, M., Parsons, D., Simmons, S., Clare, M. & Paull, C. (2017),Quantifying the journey of a turbidity current: how water and sediment discharges vary with distance in Monterey Canyon, American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting 2017. New Orleans, USA.
  • Chapplow, N., Paull, C.K., Barry, J., Gwiazda, R., Talling, P., Cartigny, M. (2018) How the temperature of a turbidity current varies as its flow evolves: Real-time data during two powerful turbidity current events in Monterey Canyon, California, 8th International Symposium on Submarine Mass Movement and Their Consequences. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Get in touch:


Department webpage: