IGA LECTURE (RESCHEDULED) Wednesday, 13th April, 2011

Speaker: Dr Aggie Giorgiopoulou (UCD)

VENUE (to be confirmed): Room G01, UCD School of Geological Sciences, Belfield, Dublin 4.

TIME: 8.00pm , tea/coffee from 7.30pm


Submarine landslides are the dominant process for sediment transport from the continental shelf to the deep ocean. Passive continental margins are characterized by thick sedimentary successions, which are studied for several reasons; they represent high-resolution archives for investigating past climate change and oceanographic regimes but also have economic interest attached to them, driven by the search for natural resources, primarily hydrocarbons. Sand-rich slide deposits form many of the World’s largest oil and gas reservoirs whereas mud-rich deposits create excellent sealing conditions for them. Landslides and sediment gravity flows obliterate benthic life en route to the deep sea, rendering the seafloor a marine desert and are also a significant geohazard to seafloor infrastructure. In some cases, submarine landslides have generated tsunamis that have caused widespread damage to coastal communities, e.g. the 1998 Papua-New Guinea tsunami. However because of the remoteness and inaccessibility of the deep sea environment insights into their timing, recurrence rates, trigger mechanisms, slope conditions, mechanism of sediment transport are difficult to acquire and require state-of-the-art technology. Case studies from south of the Canary Islands and offshore western Ireland will be presented.

Aggie graduated from the Department of Geology at the University of Patras in Greece. That is where she contracted the “oceanography” virus and so she went on to complete the M.Sc. in Oceanography of the University of Southampton. She returned to Southampton and completed a Ph.D. at the National Oceanography Centre on submarine slides south of the Canary Islands. For her research she used interdisciplinary datasets in order to determine the extent of slide deposits, their timing relative to climate change and other major events in the area, as well as investigate the processes that took place during slope failure, transport and deposition. Following that, in 2006, she joined the 3D Lab at Cardiff University as a post-doctoral research associate and was a member of the industry-funded CAPROCKS consortium, where she was investigating the effectiveness of sedimentary slope systems as hydrocarbon reservoir seals. Aggie joined the Marine and Petroleum Geology Research Group at UCD in August of 2009 as a Griffith Geoscience Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Deep Sea Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. She mainly works with Professor Pat Shannon and Dr Peter Haughton continuing her research in the Rockall Trough, west of Ireland.

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