Over the next two years, a new project funded through a Marie Curie action and awarded through a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship will study a spreading, a type of landslide characterised by the lateral movement of earth materials resting on a substrate subject to plastic flow.
Spreading is defined as a type of extensional mass wasting that moves very slowly and characterises riverbank deposits (on land) or landslides lying on very gentle slopes (in subaqueous setting). It is usually associated with the liquefaction of the sliding plane on which soil blocks laterally move. Both on shore and offshore spreading have caused widespread and costly damage to infrastructures around the world.
The project, led by members from the University of Malta’s Department of Geosciences, will be developed in collaboration with the University of Malta, GEOMAR in Kiel and Niwa in New Zealand. It officially took off on 11 January 2021.
SubSpread will allow the researchers to understand the mechanics of the spreading and its development and will contribute to an improved understanding of this phenomenon for geohazard purposes.
During the first year, this project will use study cases from spreading all around the world on terrestrial and offshore spreading, for building a comprehensive database.
A particular focus will be given to model the spreading observed on the Tuaheni slide complex, offshore New Zealand, and the spreading identified on the Storegga slide complex (offshore Norway). The second year of funding will see the use our understanding about the mechanics and evolution of spreading for studying its relationship with earthquakes as a trigger, this will be explored at Lake Tekapo, South Island of New Zealand and on the alpine lakes.
Dr Bucci shall produce a numerical model about the nucleation, development and arrest of spreading as a landslide. Her long-term research goal is Paleoseismology, or the study of ancient earthquakes.
Results from this project will be available in early 2023, however Dr Bucci will be presenting an introduction at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) at the end of April.