First time-lapse monitoring of fjord-deltas using new technology

Kate Heerema | Uni Durham


Submarine gravity currents are one of the most important processes of moving sediments across our planet. However, direct monitoring of these flows has proven difficult due to their inaccessible, unpredictable and destructive nature. My research at Durham University utilises one of the first ever direct and detailed monitoring data of these underwater flows. There are two different test sites:

  • Bute Inlet, Canada
  • Monterey Canyon, USA.


Multiple moorings with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) were deployed for 6 months at Bute Inlet, and for 18 months in total in Monterey. Using Matlab, the ADCP data is analysed by looking at front flow properties, flow velocities, and flow intensity. This data is compared to internal and external flow parameters. 

In addition, this research will include analysis of sediment cores obtained in Bute Inlet, and flow modelling at NGI, Oslo.


Kate Heerema
UNI Durham
PhD student – ESR 5
Peter Talling
UNI Durham
Principal Investigator – ESR 5


Lake Lucerne Workshop –
why do we actually meet?

ESR 5, ESR 8, News | 2018-09-25

What happens behind the curtain at an annual SLATE workshop? Starting off a series of blog posts on the recent gathering at Lake Lucerne, Kate (ESR5) and Stefano (ESR8) not only provide insight regarding the scientific activities, but as well point out additional benefits of such an event for the ESR students.

Expedition to Bute Inlet and Knight Inlet
@ CCGS Vector

ESR 10, ESR 5, News | 2018-06-18

Kate and Maarten were fortunate enough to be part of a major coordination effort to explore turbidity currents in two fjords in British Columbia, Canada. They share their experience on board of CCGS Vector exploring these fascinating submarine mass flows in an equally fascinating landscape.

Review of the 8th ISSMMTC conference
@ Victoria, Canada (7-9 May 2018)

ESR 1, ESR 10, ESR 15, ESR 3, ESR 5, News | 2018-05-28

Rachel, Tugdual and Maddalena share their experience of the 8th International Symposium on Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences (ISSMMTC) hosted in Victoria, Canada! This bi-/triannual conference supported by UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) was a great opportunity for our young scientists to come together and discuss the latest in the growing field of submarine landslide research.