Opening Plenary Session with Daniel Parsons
Monday, August 13, 2012
9:00 -10:00 a.m.
Sounding Out Morphodynamics: Advances in Understanding Flows and Morphologies in Rivers, Estuaries and the Deep Sea
In order to investigate the interactions between turbulence and suspended sediment transport in natural aqueous environments, we ideally require a technique that allows simultaneous measurement of fluid velocity, sediment transport and morphology for the whole flow field. This talk will outline development of novel methodologies that use the water column acoustic backscatter signal from multibeam echo sounders and acoustic Doppler profilers to simultaneously quantify morphology, flow velocities and suspended sediment concentrations. The application of these techniques will be illustrated with reference to flows in a range of environments, highlighting the substantive advances in understanding that are possible. This includes analysis of the flow field over a swathe of alluvial sand dunes in the Mississippi, which allows, for the first time in a field study, quantitative visualization of large scale, whole flow field, turbulent coherent flow structures associated with the dune leeside that are responsible for suspending bed sediment. Further examples of monitoring morphodynamics at large river channel confluences, river deltas, in submarine channels and an application to quantify environmental impacts of trawl fishing will also be highlighted. These methodologies hold great potential for use in a wide range of aqueous geophysical flows and begins to allow us to holistically explore the linkages between flow, transport and morphology at the field scale for the first time - effectively linking sedimentary processes to landform development.
Dan(iel) Parsons holds a Personal Chair as Professor in Process Sedimentology at the University of Hull, UK. Dan completed his PhD at The University of Sheffield in 2003 before moving to work on a UK NERC funded Post-Doctoral Research Assistant post in Earth Sciences at the University of Leeds. In 2005 Dan was awarded a prestigious NERC Research Fellowship, which allowed him to follow an independent research programmed for 3 years. Following the completion of his Fellowship term, he spent a year at the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois, USA, before returning to Leeds in 2010 to take up a Lectureship post in Earth System Science at the School of Earth and Environment. In 2011 Dan moved to the University of Hull, where he leads a distinctive processes-based sedimentology research group. Dan's group is actively researching in several areas related to fluvial, estuarine, coastal and deep marine sedimentology. His research focuses on the interaction between fluid flows and mobile sediment, using a process-based approach that combines fieldwork, laboratory experimentation and numerical modeling. You can follow Dan on Twitter @bedform for latest news, events and murmurings.