Earth Surface Sedimentary Flows Symposium

Symposium Summary

Naturally occurring, large scale flows of particles are some of the most dramatic environmental phenomena that shape our surroundings. Examples include landslides, rockfalls, avalanches and flows of volcanic ash, debris and mud. These flows are typically extremely hazardous and direct observation of them is both rare and difficult. However they erode, transport and deposit sediment and the signature of these effects may be measured in both recent and ancient deposits. Despite their importance in forming our land and seascape, our ability to model these particulate flows is in its infancy and even the motion within the simplest settings cannot be predicted with certainty. Models, however, are vital in this research area, because they provide a means for interpreting observations and providing deeper insights to the underlying physical processes that govern these flows. There is a need therefore for close interaction between researchers who model the flows and who observe these flows, or their associated sedimentary deposits, in the field and in laboratory experiments, because it is only through this interaction the modelling can be advanced.

This meeting aims to bring together the research communities that investigate sedimentary flows, using mathematical modelling and computation, field observation or  laboratory experimentation.

The scientific focus of this meeting ranges from flows in which the concentration of particulate is relatively dilute, to granular flows in which the interactions between the particles determine the dynamics.

Recurrent themes are the form and composition of the deposit laid down by these flows, segregation of particles of different sizes and densities and the cohesive effects of mud on the dynamics of the motion and the associated sedimentation.

Presentations are invited from researchers from a range of scientific disciplines. In particular we encourage presentations of field data sets that may be used to test mathematical and numerical models of the flow and of new insights from theoretical models that have application to environmental flows.


Dr Andrew Hogg (Bristol), Professor Nico Gray (Manchester), Dr Peter Talling (Southampton), Dr Chris Keylock (Sheffield)

Field trip

Following the Symposium there is the option of a field trip to Italy from 14-18 April 2011. Dr Peter Talling will lead this field trip to the Italian Apennines to study the turbidite deposits. Please indicate potential interest in this field trip by 12 February 2011. For further details please see the preliminary trip outline [MS Word (2,514kb)].