New field-scale calibration for turbidity current impact modelling

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology

Abstract

Subsea infrastructure networks underpin our daily lives, providing critical global communication links and supporting our demand for energy supplies. These strategically important networks are vulnerable to fast-moving seafloor flows of sediment, known as turbidity currents. Such flows have previously broken important subsea cable connections; leading to £Ms in lost financial trading and repair costs. The seafloor cable network transfers >95% of all global communications traffic. The International Cable Protection Committee (represented by partner Carter) has a vested interest in understanding the risk of turbidity currents, but there is a paucity of direct field measurements of turbidity currents. Thus, numerical models are largely based on scaled down experimental studies. Here, we show how the first deep-ocean high resolution measurements of turbidity currents can enable improved understanding of the risk posed, through calibration of numerical models for impact analysis. This will directly benefit partners Chevron and Shell, who are responsible for ensuring safe operation of multi-£M seafloor oil and gas pipelines worldwide. Loss of hydrocarbons to the environment can have severe environmental and reputational implications; hence minimising the risk of a pipe rupture is important. Improvements to modelling will be immediately taken up by partner HR Wallingford, who advise a wide range of owners and stakeholders on hazard assessment for seafloor infrastructure.

We aim to address the following questions:
[1] How can emerging direct monitoring technology lead to a step-change in assessment of turbidity current risk to offshore infrastructure? Until recently, there were no direct measurements of turbidity currents due to the difficulties in deployment in remote and challenging subsea environments. New advances in technology have enabled the first measurements of velocity and concentration in deep-ocean turbidity currents. Techniques developed for, and lessons learned from, the monitoring of flows at a number of sites will be transferred to industry partners. This first aim is thus to help improve how industry assesses turbidity current hazards by using the first ever direct measurements.

[2] How appropriate are existing models and how should they be revised based on new field-scale calibrations? As no comparable datasets exist, this new direct monitoring provides a unique opportunity to validate, test and refine numerical models of turbidity current. We will first assess how appropriate existing flows employed by industry are at recreating real flow behaviour. We will then run variants of a depth-resolved model developed by Dorrell. The aim is to provide a modelling approach that is acceptable in terms of computational cost, and that can recreate observations from direct monitoring. Specific guidance will be provided to the partners on how models should be developed to assess impact of turbidity currents on seafloor infrastructure.

[3] What impact do real-world turbidity currents have on seafloor infrastructure? We will then quantify turbidity current impact on a range of seafloor infrastructure. This is novel because it will involve the application of new models based on the first deep-sea direct monitoring data. The analysis will transform industry understanding of impacts and mitigation strategies.

Deliverables will include: (i) Report outlining industry best practice for turbidity current hazard assessment; (ii) New numerical modelling approach outlined in a workshop; (iii) Summary report detailing the modelled impacts of real-world turbidity currents on a range of seafloor infrastructure, and guidance for design, mitigation measures and future data acquisition strategies.

Project cost = £87.2k (at 80% FEC) over 12 months.

Planned Impact

As such real-world calibration of numerical models for impact assessment has not before been performed, this project will provide the first guidance to a wide range of infrastructure companies, on how to measure, monitor and quantify turbidity current risk. The project outputs will thus be directly transferable to industry needs. They are as follows:

Contribute to defining industry best practice for turbidity current hazard assessment: Project partners Chevron and Shell are responsible for assessing the risk posed to seafloor structures at a number of deep-water sites worldwide with a view to identifying safe and efficient layouts and routes for infrastructure. They are faced with making important decisions on the viability of different infrastructure configurations, often at very early stages in a project. Presently, this assessment is largely done based on qualitative interpretation of seafloor data and the inferences of past flow properties based on analysis of sediment cores. We will provide a summary of new tools that our partners can use to make direct measurements of active turbidity currents to quantify their impact for the first time.

New numerical modelling approach for turbidity currents: Project partners HR Wallingford, Chevron, and Shell use numerical models to understand the impact of turbidity currents on seafloor infrastructure. They also use such models to build oil and gas reservoir characterisation models; ancient turbidity current deposits form many of the important hydrocarbon reservoirs worldwide. As these models are currently based on calibration from scaled-down experiments, and the deposits of past flows, the use of state-of-the-art scientific models calibrated by direct field measurements, as offered by this project, will enable a valuable step-forward for industry. Importantly, the project will include a test of the numerical models that are currently used to determine their applicability and provide confidence in future assessments.

Guidance for mitigation of turbidity current hazard: The final output will be immediately transferable to the International Cable Protection Committee to understand what impacts real-world flows have on the global network of subsea telecommunication cables that underpin our day to day lives. Guidance will be used for future cable routes, such as where expected pinch-points might be and where optimal canyon crossings could be located. Currently cable companies rely on past records of cable breaks, with unclear guidance on how and where new cables should be laid. We aim to provide more robust guidance based on the calibrated modelling of impact. Partners Chevron and Shell will use the guidance to improve confidence in decision-making concerning field layout design and the routing of export pipelines and to minimise the potential for damaged infrastructure, lost production, and negative environmental consequences. Partner HR Wallingford will immediately use such information for infrastructure geohazard assessments, advising operators, contractors & stakeholders.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Clare M.A. (2019) Direct monitoring of deep-sea turbidity currents to quantify their interaction with the seafloor and impacts on critical subsea infrastructure in Scour and Erosion IX - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Scour and Erosion, ICSE 2018

 
Description Subsea infrastructure networks underpin daily life, providing critical global communication links and supporting demand for energy supplies. These strategically-important networks are vulnerable to fast-moving seafloor flows of sediment, known as turbidity currents. Such flows can break important subsea cable connections and hydrocarbon
pipelines, which lead to millions of pounds in lost financial trading and repair costs. Hydrocarbon pipeline ruptures can have major environmental consequences. Despite their
importance, there is a paucity of direct measurements of turbidity currents. Numerical models are used in industry risk assessments, but are based on scaled-down laboratory experiments, rather than real-world events. This project transferred knowledge about turbidity currents based on recent field measurements. These field observations provided
industry partners with an increased understanding of the risks posed to seafloor infrastructure. New measurements indicate that turbidity currents can behave very differently to
the existing models on which impact assessments are based. Shortcomings were identified in existing models, so a new approach was developed to improve future assessments. This project has transformed how turbidity currents are assessed by industry, by offering new insights into their real-world behaviour, identifying new monitoring tools (currently planned for use by partners), and developing an improved model to enable more realistic impact assessments.

Telecommunication cables transport more than 95 per cent of all global digital traffic, including the internet, financial and military communications. Submarine flows of sediment,
known as turbidity currents, can damage these networks. With trillions traded daily via subsea networks, multiple cable breaks in important regional hubs can have major implications. Repairs can cost up to £100M, such as following recent cable breaks (up to 22 breaks in one event) offshore Taiwan in 2006 and 2009. Offshore oil and gas production similarly relies on an array of expensive seafloor infrastructure to transport hydrocarbons (pipelines) and provide communications and chemicals to control production (umbilicals). These linear structures are weak points in subsea field developments as they are exposed to the impact of seafloor flows. The damage caused to offshore pipelines by such mass movements exceeds $400M per year. Despite their potential for damage, there is little information on how turbidity currents behave in the ocean as only a small number of observations exist. As a result, offshore industries rely upon numerical modelling to understand the risk posed to seafloor structures, but these models make many assumptions and are uncalibrated. This project aimed to increase industry confidence in how to assess the risk posed by turbidity currents, how to model their impact, and how to effectively design infrastructure for safe, uninterrupted operations.

The main objective was to provide a new approach to quantify the risk posed by turbidity currents to seafloor infrastructure. Existing NERC science was translated through the following activities:
- Highlighting new tools for monitoring hazards in deep water for industry use. Following the success of recent NERC-funded projects, which included an ambitious international initiative to monitor active turbidity currents at a series of global test sites the authors, along with industry partners, prepared a report to share knowledge on how to make such measurements. This highlighted to partners the emerging technology that is available to measure turbidity currents. Because of this knowledge transfer, partners are planning to use some of these techniques on commercial projects, which will provide new data to support robust risk assessments and fill a key knowledge gap.
- Improving industry understanding of the threat posed by turbidity currents. The direct measurements of turbidity currents made during recent NERC-funded projects provided the first depth and time-resolved measurements of key parameters required for impact analysis (velocity and sediment concentration). At meetings with partners, it was highlighted how these new observations challenge existing models for turbidity currents, and the implications of the observed behaviour were discussed with industry partners.
- Testing the effectiveness of existing industry risk assessments. Existing numerical models used in industry to determine the risk posed by turbidity currents are currently calibrated with laboratory experiments which suffer from scaling issues. An existing industry approach was tested against a novel depth-resolved numerical model (modified specifically for this project), and the results were compared with direct measurements of turbidity currents. It was found that depth-averaged models may not accurately reflect reality, as they under-predict the length of flow run-out, and over-predict the velocity of the flow. These results have significant implications for infrastructure routing and design.

A real-world calibration of numerical models for impact assessment had not been performed before. This project provided the first guidance on how to measure, monitor and
quantify turbidity current risk to a wide range of infrastructure companies. The key outcomes of the project were:
- Contributing to industry good practice for turbidity current hazard assessment. Oil operators including project partner Chevron are responsible for assessing the
risk posed to seafloor structures at several deep-water sites worldwide with a view to identifying safe and efficient layouts and routes for infrastructure. A summary of new
tools was provided that can make direct measurements of active turbidity currents to quantify their impact for the first time, giving more effective methods for industry.
This summary was presented as a white paper, which was subsequently peer-reviewed and distributed to about 500 industry representatives at the Offshore Site Investigation
Group conference held in London on 12-14 September 2017 (SUT, 2017).
- New numerical modelling approach for turbidity current risk assessment. The project partners use numerical models to understand the impact of turbidity currents on seafloor infrastructure. As these models are currently based on calibration from scaled-down experiments, and the deposits of past flows, the use of state-of-the-art scientific models calibrated by direct field measurements in this project enables a valuable stepforward for industry. This project tested numerical models that are currently used by offshore industries and identified significant shortcomings. The new model approach will provide greater confidence in future assessments.
- Guidance for mitigation of turbidity current hazard. The improved understanding of how real-world flows behave provides guidance to the partners for future cable and pipeline routes, such as where expected pinch points might be and where optimal crossing points could be located.
Exploitation Route We are in discussion with our partners (Chevron and ENI Spa) as to how this new model can be implemented in their risk assessment workflow. The initial plan will be for a follow up trial study.

- Field trials of new techniques for monitoring turbidity currents. During discussions with partners the role of sediment concentration within turbidity currents was determined to be a key variable, but this cannot be quantified using existing tools. To provide an enhanced level of detail, it is proposed to use and test new sensors in
the field that can make more robust measurements. Fieldtrials could be carried out on conductivity sensors in a field deployment.
- Increase understanding of turbidity current evolution to better inform risk assessment. While there are now some valuable direct measurements of turbidity currents,
these have largely been made at a single point and so do not capture how flows evolve as they travel downslope. If this evolution can be better understood (i.e. where and why
do flows get thicker/thinner, faster/slower, denser/more dilute?) then this can be directly transferred as guidance on where pipelines or cables can be placed or should be avoided.
- Continue model development to enable operational application. This project has demonstrated how a new numerical model can be used to make better assessments
of potential impacts on seafloor infrastructure by turbidity currents. Further development of this new model, in collaboration with industry partners, will be required to embed this as an operational tool.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy

 
Description The comparison between conventional industry models and the new approach developed in the project is being used by an ongoing project by one of the partners to understand the risk posed to deep-water pipelines, and test the robustness of existing approaches. The following specific quotes have been provided by industry partners: "The project has pioneered a quantified global perspective of cable faults caused by earthquakes and cyclones. Thus, it is possible to identify hazard 'hot spots' and their impact via the frequency and extent of damage sustained by multiple cable systems. Such information is essential for improving subsea cable routes and has been instrumental in the design of one new route through the cable-congested Strait of Luzon between Taiwan and the Philippines. The redesign allowed the cable to cross the highly active Gaoping Canyon at a location where turbidity currents waned to speeds that were not damaging to cables. This project highlighted the importance of meteorological disturbances as generators of cable-damaging turbidity currents. A suggestion made that these cyclone-related hazards were on the rise appears to have been proved correct. At least three studies now show that typhoons in the western Pacific are intensifying as ocean and atmosphere warm. As a result, the cable industry is now aware of an emerging hazard and routes should be designed accordingly, i.e. where possible avoid high discharge rivers that feed submarine canyons. There is no doubt that the research supported by NERC has provided new knowledge that is of direct value to the cable industry" Lionel Carter, marine environmental advisor, International Cable Protection Committee "This NERC-funded ERIIP project provided us with access to state of the art research on turbidity current behaviour in a comparative range of submarine settings. The project report on geophysical tools for monitoring geohazards, to which we directly contributed, provides a helpful future reference source. Overall the work has helped to quantify impacts of these powerful flows on subsea infrastructure and enables validation of existing models, points to further model developments for use by industry, and identifies gaps to be filled by future field, laboratory and modelling initiatives." Richard Whitehouse - Chief Technical Director (Sediment Dynamics), HR Wallingford
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Energy
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Contribution to Environmental Impact of Human Activities (EIHA) Committee of the OSPAR Commission - inputs to Quality Status Review and updates to Best Environmental Practice guidelines
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Contribution to Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology briefing on UK Natural Hazard Assessment (led by Michael Stock and Jonathan Wentworth)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PB-0031
 
Description Presentation and Attendance at Natural Hazards Partnership Meetings with Cabinet Office to inform national risk assessment (continued contribution)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL http://www.naturalhazardspartnership.org.uk/
 
Description Developing a Global Listening Network for Turbidity Currents and Seafloor Processes
Amount £800,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009965/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Description Marine Environmental Advisor to International Cable Protection Committee
Amount £40,400 (GBP)
Organisation International Cable Protection Committee 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Start 06/2019 
End 05/2021
 
Title New approaches for detailed measurement of deep sea hazards (turbidity currents) 
Description We published a paper providing lessons learned and new approaches for designing platforms to make detailed measurements of dec sea sediment flows called turbidity currents that pose a hazard to critical seafloor infrastructure. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The paper provides the information for others to learn from our past experiences and has already been used by at least two research groups in New Zealand and Austria. 
URL https://sp.lyellcollection.org/content/500/1/605.abstract
 
Description Collaboration with Atkins 
Organisation WS Atkins
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution From support letter from Dr Andrew Hart, Technical Authority for Engineering Geomorphology, Geohazards & Ground Modelling, Atkins: "Atkins would like to express continued support of the scientific research being undertaken by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and their research partners pertaining to geohazard modelling and offshore infrastructure. Atkins is one of the world's leading design, engineering and project management consultancies. We build long-term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. In particular, Atkins' Ground Engineering Practice offers a global capacity for the geological and geotechnical assessment of ground conditions and support to the engineering design of structures in a wide range of environments, including in the offshore and subsea environments. As such, a key component of Atkin's business is the investigation and assessment of those ground conditions and geohazards that adversely impact, affect or constrain proposed oil and gas field development and offshore wind farms, as well as longitudinal seafloor structures, such as pipelines, export power cables and communication cables. This is typically based the integration and interpretation of available geophysical, bathymetric, sedimentological and geotechnical datasets, acquired by our clients. Therefore, as an organisation that is involved in the design and advisory services for onshore, nearshore, offshore and seafloor infrastructure, we strongly believe that the work being undertaken by Dr Clare and other researchers at the NOC is closely aligned to our industry's requirements and has specific relevance to our work. Atkins, and by default our clients and the wider industry, has benefitted and greatly appreciated the opportunities to participate in regular knowledge sharing sessions with Dr Clare and other colleagues from the NOC. Most recently, we hosted Dr Clare at our offices in Epsom to facilitate two-way knowledge transfer about turbidity current hazards, and to also ensure that he and his collaborators are aware of specific industry challenges and objectives. Such sessions have provided our technical staff with an improved understanding of the new approaches being developed to measure turbidity currents and inform geohazard assessments, such as those being developed by Dr Clare and his colleagues in the Monterey Canyon. While we have learned a lot about the behaviour of these flows, there are no direct measurements of the impacts of turbidity currents on seafloor cables or pipelines, except where the impacts were so severe that they broke them entirely. We know of industry examples where seafloor structures have been moved by turbidity currents but not broken, so not all flows lead to such extreme damage. Hence, the importance of the research being undertaken at the NOC."
Collaborator Contribution Atkins staff have hosted workshops, provided access to project results to inform future research, and provided input to on-going Best Practice guidne for offshore practioners.
Impact "The collaborative relationship between Atkins and NOC (e.g. through NERC Innovation projects) has successfully and significantly contributed to the knowledge base that now guides the development of offshore and seabed infrastructure (and specifically seabed pipelines, export power cables and telecommunication cables). We hope very much that the excellent research being conducted at the NOC and with their various research partners, and in turn the support to industry, will continue."
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with ExxonMobil 
Organisation ExxonMobil
Department ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution From support letter from Dr David Hoyal Team Lead, Process Stratigraphy Project, ExxonMobil Upstream Research: "Over the past few years (circa 2013), sediment transport and geohazards research at NOC has had a broad impact on oil and gas exploitation with new avenues of research and important implications for our business (e.g., Hodgson et al., 2018). For example, detailed flow measurements in the Squamish, Bute, Congo and Monterey deep-water systems provide a new understanding of turbidity current structure and sediment transport (Talling et al., 2015). Some of these results provide a completely new picture of these processes (e.g., Paull et al., 2018) and are not simply more detailed measurements of what we already knew. For example, the seminal paper of Vendettuoli et al., (2019) is a synthesis of a number of years of repeat bathymetric surveys to better understand how the stratigraphic record is built and preserved in a wider range of marine settings. Research on microplastics and contourites are providing brand new insights into how oil and gas reservoirs are created by the remobilization of sand and mud by ocean currents (e.g., Kane & Clare, 2019; Miramontes et al. 2019). In addition, recent work has significantly improved the recognition of submarine landslide deposits (Clare et al., 2018), and the processes of turbidity current and debris flow triggering (Clare et al., 2016; Hage et al., 2019), and is providing new insights into submarine engineering structure design including platforms and pipelines (Clare et al., in press). This research has proved invaluable at ExxonMobil both in supporting our own research efforts, and in providing completely new insights. Over the past decade, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company (EMURC) has also pursued a comprehensive in-house program of sedimentary processes research to improve the commercial exploration, development and production of oil and gas from basin to reservoir scale (called Process Stratigraphy). New physics-based depositional models have been deployed to the business units that include an improved understanding of depositional processes, geometry and facies tied to parameters like gradient, grain size and mud content, with significant commercial impact. In addition, EMURC has developed a sophisticated numerical model to predict sand and mud deposits from turbidity currents. The ExxonMobil research program rests on a framework of in-house experiments tied to outcrop and high-resolution seismic data (e.g., Hamilton et al., 2017). However, a key missing element is modern oceanographic data like high-resolution bathymetry, shallow cores, and in particular, flow monitoring data which addresses timescales and questions that are difficult to resolve with the other data types. EMURC has turned to external research by well-established oceanographic institutions, in particular NOC, to answer questions like these. Since 2013, ExxonMobil has funded or been partners in a number of NOC/NERC projects. These include: 1. Geometries and dynamics supercritical bedforms I, 2013: Matthieu Cartigny (PI) & Peter Talling (Co-I) National Oceanography Centre; Esther Sumner (Co-I) Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Joris Eggenhuisen (Co-I); Utrecht University, George Postma (Co-I) Utrecht University, John Hughes-Clarke (Co-I) University of New Brunswick 2. Two NERC Studentships: Geometry and dynamics of supercritical bedforms II (2014): Sophie Hage & Age Vellinga supervised by Dr Matthieu Cartigny (NOC). Focus on two aspect of supercritical bedforms that are still poorly constrained: 1) what is the range of types of supercritical bedforms in both two- and three dimensions, (measurement) and 2) what controls their dynamics (numerical modeling in flow 3-D). 3. Field testing novel sensor systems for time-lapse monitoring of seafloor geohazards at global test sites (2017). Prof. Peter Talling, Earth Sciences & Geography Dept, Durham, Dr. Matthieu Cartigny, Geography & Earth Sciences, Durham. Prof. Jim McElwaine, Earth Sciences, Durham, Prof. Dan Parsons, University of Hull., Dr. Mike Clare, National Oceanography Centre. Student Natasha Chaplow. 4. Another project: How does substrate erosion determine turbidity behavior and reservoir geometry?, 2019, PIs Talling and Cartigny (Durham) was initiated while the PI's were at Durham and will also involve collaboration with NOC and EMURC. These projects include important turbidity current monitoring studies on the Squamish (BC), Butte (BC), Zaire and Monterey channels and fans many in collaboration with John Hughes Clarke at Univeristy of New Hampshire, and Charlie Paull at Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBARI)." "[P]enetration into the business has been greatly facilitated by research that can measure these systems at missing timescales - days to years. Papers that have facilitated this include Vendettuoli, Clare, et al. (2019); Hage, Cartigny, Clare et al. (2018) and other NOC collaborative papers."
Collaborator Contribution ExxonMobil have provided funding for 2 x PhD students, supported and hosted workshops and knowledge exchange activities, and shared challenges that they face to inform ongoing research.
Impact Over the past few years (circa 2013), sediment transport and geohazards research at NOC has had a broad impact on oil and gas exploitation with new avenues of research and important implications for our business (e.g., Hodgson et al., 2018). For example, detailed flow measurements in the Squamish, Bute, Congo and Monterey deep-water systems provide a new understanding of turbidity current structure and sediment transport (Talling et al., 2015). Some of these results provide a completely new picture of these processes (e.g., Paull et al., 2018) and are not simply more detailed measurements of what we already knew. For example, the seminal paper of Vendettuoli et al., (2019) is a synthesis of a number of years of repeat bathymetric surveys to better understand how the stratigraphic record is built and preserved in a wider range of marine settings. Research on microplastics and contourites are providing brand new insights into how oil and gas reservoirs are created by the remobilization of sand and mud by ocean currents (e.g., Kane & Clare, 2019; Miramontes et al. 2019). In addition, recent work has significantly improved the recognition of submarine landslide deposits (Clare et al., 2018), and the processes of turbidity current and debris flow triggering (Clare et al., 2016; Hage et al., 2019), and is providing new insights into submarine engineering structure design including platforms and pipelines (Clare et al., in press). This research has proved invaluable at ExxonMobil both in supporting our own research efforts, and in providing completely new insights.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with Fugro 
Organisation Fugro
Country Netherlands 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution From support letter provided by Mr Brian Mackenzie, Service Line Director, Marine Geoconsulting, Europe and Africa & Mr Grant Lewis, Engineering Geology and Geohazards Team Leader: "Fugro GB Marine Limited would like to express continued support of the scientific research performed by the National Oceanography Centre pertaining to sediment transport and geohazard research. Fugro GB Marine Limited combines the expertise of industry specialists in engineering geology, geophysics, geohazards and geotechnical engineering to provide site characterisation services to clients. A key part of the consultancy business line concerns understanding the potential for recurrent geohazards to adversely impact, affect or constrain proposed oil and gas field development layouts, and longitudinal seafloor structures, such as pipelines. The potential impact of high-density sediment flows on a pipeline can lead to displacement, which may result in spanning issues, excess stress being exerted on sections of the pipe, or in severe cases, full bore rupture. The environmental and reputation implications to an operator may be severe if product is released from a broken line. Economic implications may be significant if production is lost or delayed. Therefore, an understanding of potential impact is crucially important, as avoidance or mitigation measures can be costly or, in some cases, prohibitive. Geohazard specialists from Fugro routinely perform assessments of frequency, magnitude and type of potential sediment density flows. This is largely based on integration of available geophysical, bathymetric, sedimentological and geotechnical data, which are acquired on behalf of oil and gas clients. This integrated interpretation is used to feed numerical models of predicted flow pathway, and outputs are provided in relation to a proposed pipeline. These include deposit geometry (i.e. run-out distance), height and width of flow, velocity and a determination of force imposed on the pipeline. This is then related to pipeline design parameters and seafloor soil conditions to determine the integrity of the pipeline in response to the impact (i.e. to determine the level of damage sustained). Currently large assumptions must be made in the modelling that is performed. Direct measurements of turbidity currents by the NOC, such as density and velocity, have been and are extremely valuable in developing more credible inputs to forward-looking numerical models. This also allows back-calculation of deposit geometry to check against the as-sampled conditions to validate models.
Collaborator Contribution Fugro have hosted several workshops, provided guidance on data interpretation, and provided access to datasets to PhD students within Mike Clare's research group.
Impact "Enhancement and validation of Fugro's modelling input and analysis allow for the most credible prediction of future geohazards and project risk, thus supporting decisions and design of cost effective solutions which contribute to a safe and liveable world. Fugro, our clients, and industry more generally, have also benefitted from regular knowledge sharing sessions with the NOC, which include meaningful updates on the work being performed by the research group such as that in the Monterey Canyon. These regular knowledge exchange sessions have increased Fugro's awareness of new approaches to measure turbidity currents and informed geohazard assessments."
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with Sonardyne Ltd 
Organisation Sonardyne International Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution From a letter of support from Dr Thomas Culverhouse - Doppler Group Manager, Sonardyne International Ltd: "Sonardyne International Ltd. Is a privately owned UK company that is recognised as a world leader in the design and manufacture of underwater acoustic positioning and telemetry, inertial navigation, optical communications and sonar imaging systems. With over 40 years of experience in developing technology for harsh underwater environments, Sonardyne's sixth generation hardware platform (6G) is marker leading and was recognised by the Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2014. Offshore energy is currently Sonardyne's largest market, and the proposed study will directly benefit our customers in this industry. In addition, Sonardyne has a growing presence in other relevant industries, such as oceanography and marine resources. Sonardyne has established a close collaborative relationship with Dr Mike Clare, from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). Knowledge exchange through this channel promises to deliver innovation that will drive the current and next generation of instruments to probe sediment flows via underwater acoustics.
Collaborator Contribution "Novel ideas are being turned into prototype devices which we aim to deploy in the environments that form the focus of this study. Close cooperation between Sonardyne and Dr Clare's group will result in new understanding of sediment transport and characterisation on the academic side, and productionalised devices on the commercial side, especially with respect to environmental risks to infrastructure. [M]onitor[ing] sediment transport and geohazards in the offshore energy environment are of direct relevance to Sonardyne's main market, developing markets (specifically renewable energy) and in-house R&D priorities (including) field deployments of acoustic instrumentation toward this purpose, and subsequent data capture and analysis. Sonardyne sees this as an important opportunity to maximise synergies between leaders in the UK research base and British industry and as such is fully aligned to the principles of joint research and innovation outlined in the UK's Industrial Strategy. In this context, we are potentially interested in being involved in the commercialisation of this research at the appropriate time."
Impact Ongoing - Knowledge exchange through this channel promises to deliver innovation that will drive the current and next generation of instruments to probe sediment flows via underwater acoustics. Novel ideas are being turned into prototype devices which we aim to deploy in the environments that form the focus of this study. Close cooperation between Sonardyne and Dr Clare's group will result in new understanding of sediment transport and characterisation on the academic side, and productionalised devices on the commercial side, especially with respect to environmental risks to infrastructure.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Enhanced collaborations with International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) 
Organisation International Cable Protection Committee
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I met with the ICPC (umbrella organisation at 170 cable companies) when I was invited to give a keynote address at their plenary meeting in 2018 in Cape Town. I shared findings and future directions for monitoring seafloor hazards, which led to me being invited to apply for (and awarded with) the role as Marine Environmental Advisor to the ICPC. This role will enable me to continue to perform knowledge exchange to a large industry community and to ensure that seafloor hazards research funded by UKRI continues to have wide reaching impact beyond the lifetime of these grants.
Collaborator Contribution ICPC funded my travel, subsistence etc to attend at the plenary meeting and facilitated meetings with a large number of cable companies. Following my appointment (to start June 2019) as Marine Environmental Advisor, they will provide recurrent funding of £20K per year (ON AN OPEN ENDED BASIS) to support my time to enable knowledge exchange about marine hazards, and understanding impacts of seafloor infrastructure on the marine environment.
Impact In particular, the KE Fellowship has enabled me to develop these links in a much deeper manner than would have been possible. I am currently contributing to the only recognised legal treatise on submarine cables with the ICPC. This collaboration involves engineers, geologists, biologists, and legal experts. Specific feedback from the ICPC: "The project has pioneered a quantified global perspective of cable faults caused by earthquakes and cyclones. Thus, it is possible to identify hazard 'hot spots' and their impact via the frequency and extent of damage sustained by multiple cable systems. Such information is essential for improving subsea cable routes and has been instrumental in the design of one new route through the cable-congested Strait of Luzon between Taiwan and the Philippines. The redesign allowed the cable to cross the highly active Gaoping Canyon at a location where turbidity currents waned to speeds that were not damaging to cables. This project highlighted the importance of meteorological disturbances as generators of cable-damaging turbidity currents. A suggestion made that these cyclone-related hazards were on the rise appears to have been proved correct. At least three studies now show that typhoons in the western Pacific are intensifying as ocean and atmosphere warm. As a result, the cable industry is now aware of an emerging hazard and routes should be designed accordingly, i.e. where possible avoid high discharge rivers that feed submarine canyons. There is no doubt that the research supported by NERC has provided new knowledge that is of direct value to the cable industry" Lionel Carter, marine environmental advisor, International Cable Protection Committee
Start Year 2018
 
Description New collaborations initiated with government-run Ocean Networks Canada & Canadian Geological Survey 
Organisation Natural Resources Canada
Department Geological Survey of Canada
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution New collaborations initiated with government-run Ocean Networks Canada & Canadian Geological Survey, and UK industry organisations Schlumberger (Sensa) and Fiberlogix, which led to the submission of a first stage Innovation proposal for direct monitoring using fiberoptic technology. From support letter from Dr D. Gwyn Lintern, Marine Geoscience Projects Lead - Natural Resources Canada & Geological Survey of Canada: "As leader of marine geohazard projects for the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), I am writing in response to a request by Dr. Michael Clare to provide evidence of the impact his group has had in our outcomes and products. On the west coast of Canada, we have numerous undeveloped fjords which are the subject of very large, but controversial, infrastructure projects. Most of these proposals are to build multibillion dollar ports to support our chief export economies. The GSC had a mandate to conduct regional seabed mapping and to interpret data to understand geological hazards in these areas. These including earthquakes, tsunamis and submarine mass sediment transport events. For instance, in Kitimat Arm (a fjord) in 1974 and 1975 there were destructive tsunamis created by catastrophic failures on the delta slopes. Dr. Clare and prior to that, Dr. Talling, and their colleagues at NOC have been highly active in Canada researching the causes and effects of turbidity currents in these developing fjords. Dr Clare organised and led scientific expeditions using Canadian vessels to numerous fjords including work on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vector and Scenitific research ship M.V. Strickland in 2016, 2017, and 2018, among others. Although we have ships and staff available, it was Dr. Clare's organisational efforts, and participation of the NOC students and scientists that gave us the critical resources to conduct these cruises. The experience we gained not only was some of the most exciting work we have conducted in recent years, and so was good for staff morale, but has increased the GSC's expertise in these previously poorly researched geographical features of our west coast. As for the question of Kitimat Arm, we still have not completely answered the question of why it failed catastrophically. However, it has been very informative to contrast this with other fjords that we have examined with the NOC group. NOC's research indicates that in two fjords, Bute Inlet and Howe Sound, turbidity currents originating the delta are occurring much more frequently that we had previously known (and handful of direct measurements). In fact, the work indicates hundreds of flows per year. In Howe Sound, this has the implication of removing sediment from the delta and so provides us a more refined sediment model for a port at the delta that requires frequent dredging (see EPIC, 2019). As well, NOCs work gives us some numbers on the frequency of failures of the delta lip, where these dredge basins are located. More importantly however, this fjord is otherwise similar to Kitimat, and the NOC work indicates a compelling reason why we might see catastrophic tsunamigenic failure of the delta in Kitimat, but not in Bute Inlet or Howe Sound- the frequent turbidity flows are the dominant form of failure keeping the delta slopes stable. Simply speaking, the NOC work has allowed us to more accurately determine risk in certain types of fjord environments as part of our mandated responsibilities. Some additional scientific advances of which we were a part, but which were led or supervised by NOC members are as follows. Turbidity current deposits are used for understanding past geohazards (earthquakes and landslides) as well as investigated as traps for hydrocarbon reserves. It had never really been understood how actual flows are retained in the geological record. The NOC work has now revealed information on this. Previously it was thought that river plumes could only generate turbidity currents if they had very high concentrations of sediment and so this was limited to a handful of rivers (Mulder and Syvitsky, 1995). It was later determined that flows could ignite by convective settling at moderate concentration (Parsons et al., 2001). In this paper, and in Canadian fjords, the NOC supervised team develop a theory of why we are seeing turbidity currents initiated at rivers with relatively dilute suspensions. This of course means the number of locations that turbidity currents potentially occur is greatly increased. The NOC collaborations not only allowed us to bring the ships into these fjords, but the group has transferred technological knowledge to our science department, and to our ships crew, including techniques which will allow us to study strong bottom flows while minimizing risk to scientific infrastructure. NOC introduced us to multianchor oceanographic moorings, which straddle the active channels while still allowing instruments to look down into them. We had been discussing such a setup for some time with the ships crew, but it was NOC who brought the plans to fruition and provide piece of mind to the captains. A second innovation was that the NOC work supported our experimentation with monitoring flows by using hydrophones, which can be deployed to the side of the active canyons rather than right in it. With the ability to show some success with the technique, the group including Durham, NOC, the GSC and others convincingly wrote a successful proposal to NERC to develop this further. We have summarized the NOC work in a recent paper describing our efforts to understand the national submarine landslide hazard in Canada (Lintern et al, 2019 accepted). This paper contributes to our National Tsunami Strategy Project under our Public Safety Geoscience Program. In conducting our national assessment, and designing our database, we have made considerable efforts to use the classifications schemes provided in Clare et al., 2018. So we are one of the first Geological Surveys to implement this NOC- generated recommendation. In summary, the collaboration with NOC has given us exciting direct measurements of delta failure and turbidity current activity, but also allowed us to even get into these fjords with multibeam and sub-bottom profiling systems, moorings, and coring devices to conduct surveys for other types of marine geohazards. We have considered or implemented the results in several of our outputs. We very much hope to continue the collaboration with NOC."
Collaborator Contribution Contribution made by Canadian Geological Survey to provide reduced cost for ship time in 2018 (£5k per day instead of £50k per day) and provision of technical and logistical support for successful field work (for industry partners) in 2018. Paper was published on novel monitoring approaches using distributed fibre optic sensing led by industry collaborator Arthur Hartog at Schlumberger.
Impact Fieldwork successfully completed in 2018 Our partner summarized collaborativework in a recent paper describing efforts to understand the national submarine landslide hazard in Canada (Lintern et al, 2019). This paper contributes to the CanadianNational Tsunami Strategy Project under the Public Safety Geoscience Program. This is one first Geological Surveys to implement a NOC- generated recommendation for landslide characterisation that arose from these NERC funded projects.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Attended and contributed to Natural Hazards Partnership committee meetings (steering group to Cabinet Office on Natural Hazards) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Providing updates based on NOC research into hazards to inform ongoing updates of National Risk Assessment and National Risk Register.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description Co-convened Shackleton Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Co-convened Shackleton Conference at the Geological Society of London to promote ERIIP programme to marine infrastructure industry and academia representatives (September 2017).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Contributed to working groups on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction(BBNJ) and Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attended and presented at various working group meetings to understand the effects cables exert on the marine environment, and to determine the threats posed by deep sea mining and deep sea fishing in order to develop briefing documents for governments. Contributed to white paper on Fish Aggregating Devices and Best Practice and Emerging Issues document to be issued to various governments in 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2020,2021
 
Description Contribution to Engineering Geology, Geohazards and Geomorphology Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Participated in several meetings with industry representatives (BP, Fugro, Jacobs, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Innogy) to work on a best practice guide for industry practitioners in offshore engineering and risk assessment. The outcome was a launch of the working party at a 1 day event in the Geological Society to c. 100 industry representatives. Over the next 2 years we will be working on creating the best practice report which will be published by the Geological Society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2018
 
Description Contribution to Offshore Engineering, Geohazards and Geomorphology working group to develop best practice report for offshore industry practitioners. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Contribution to developing best industry practice guidelines, to be published in 2022. My role is providing state of the art knowledge on offshore characterization and monitoring, ensuring that the industry participants (oil and gas, renewables, cables etc) are aware.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description Engagement with oil and gas operators to understand existing and best practices for hazard assessment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Engagement with oil and gas operators to understand existing and best practices for hazard assessment for offshore infrastructure and potential cross-overs for non-hydrocarbon infrastructure, including visits to company offices in Houston (ExxonMobil and Chevron, 14-15th Dec), Oxfordshire (Halliburton, 22nd Feb), and Basingstoke (ENI, 23rd Feb, 10th August, 31st Aug).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Issued public-facing Environment Update to increase public awareness of subsea cables 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I issued the first of a planned bi-annual, marine-focused newsletter titled "Submarine Cable Protection and the Environment." The publication is a new and timely reference for all seabed users, the science community, and the general public who share the same vital goal as the ICPC- safeguarding submarine telecommunications and power cables worldwide. Exclusive to ICPC Members only, access to an historical archive of more than 200 issues of an "Environment Update" publication are available on-demand, but now the "Submarine Cable Protection and the Environment" publication is being made available twice a year to the industry and public.

ICPC General Manager Mr Ryan Wopschall stated, "Having Mike's expertise on staff truly benefits the ICPC and its Members, but we also acknowledge his thorough research can benefit the broader submarine cable industry, other marine users and stakeholders, and the wider public. Mike has written articles that not only get readers to think about the importance of the marine environment in our local daily lives, but also provides insights into the sustainability and resiliency of global submarine cable infrastructure and its critical role in our world today."

As of Nov 2020 this had been downloaded >1,100 times.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://iscpc.org/publications/submarine-cable-protection-and-the-environment/
 
Description Joined Deep Oceans Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) working group on Litter and Marine Debris 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Contributed to various working group meetings - now working on policy briefing document regarding litter in the marine environment. No impacts realized yet as this is work in progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2020,2021
URL https://www.dosi-project.org/topics/pollution/
 
Description Media coverage of high profile papers on plastic pollution in the deep sea 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two papers (Kane et al and Pohl et al) stimulated significant media interest and were featured by several international newspapers and media outlets.
The paper published in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.aba5899) on deep-sea microplastics transport was chosen as the focus on an editorial ("Perspective" article) in Science by Mohrig (DOI: 10.1126/science.abc1510). Some profiling of the Pohl et al. ES&T paper (doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b07527) in the media (NOC press release: https://noc.ac.uk/news/new-insights-transportation-microplastics-across-deep-seafloor) and was the focus of an Editorial in Nature Reviews - Earth & Environment: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43017-020-0047-9
Mainstream media coverage, featuring interviews with Mike Clare and other project partners:
Guardian - Terrawatch Editorial: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/31/terrawatch-plastic-rich-canyons-forming-in-the-deep-ocean
Physorg https://phys.org/news/2020-03-underwater-avalanches-microplastics-deep-ocean.html
LiveScience: https://www.livescience.com/avalanches-bury-microplastics.html
The Kane et al. Science paper (DOI: 10.1126/science.aba5899 was viewed >18,000 times in the week of release) in the media (NOC press release. https://noc.ac.uk/news/seafloor-microplastic-hotspots-controlled-deep-sea-currents). The paper was covered by 67 news outlets as of 07/05/20 including:
Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8274399/Nearly-two-million-pieces-microplastics-square-metre-seafloor.html
Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/scientists-identify-1-9-million-pieces-microplastic-square-meter-ocean-floor-1501237
Sky News: https://news.sky.com/story/microplastics-scientists-find-highest-level-ever-on-seabed-11981029
New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2242075-ocean-currents-are-sweeping-microplastics-into-the-deep-sea/
The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/30/microplastics-found-in-greater-quantities-than-ever-before-on-seabed-currents-hotspots
The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/seafloor-currents-sweep-microplastics-into-deep-sea-hotspots-of-ocean-life-137314
Two articles on BBC website: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52489126
CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/30/world/microplastics-seafloor-concentration-scn-scli-intl/index.html
Wired: https://www.wired.com/story/microplastic-hotspots/
CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/04/30/toxic-microplastic-hotspots-are-accumulating-on-the-ocean-floor-in-record-levels.html#click=https://t.co/qlxUsqH3bZ
BBC Newsround: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52499228
FOX News https://www.foxnews.com/science/highest-ever-concentration-microplastics-found-seafloor
New York Post: https://nypost.com/2020/05/06/highest-ever-concentration-of-microplastics-found-on-seafloor/

Kane, I., Clare, M., Miramontes, E., Wogelius, R., Rothwell, J., Garreau, P., Pohl, F. (2020). Seafloor microplastic hotspots controlled by deep sea circulation, Science. doi: 10.1126/science.aba5899

Pohl, F., Eggenhuisen, J.T., Kane, I.A. and Clare, M.A., 2020. Transport and burial of microplastics in deep-marine sediments by turbidity currents. Environmental Science & Technology. doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b07527
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Media outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Contributed to BBC Tomorrow's World/Science Museum online platform (https://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/introducing-deep-sea-guardians-information-age/ ) and provided content for Royal Society https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/research-culture/changing-expectations/dr-michael-clare/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Media, public and industry engagement on deep sea cables 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Interview on deep sea cables and benefits and issues regarding recycling - Mike Clare featured in Capacity Magazine (telecom industry magazine) https://www.capacitymedia.com/articles/3827192/greening-the-seas

Mike Clare also delivered an online webinar on "Emerging environmental issues for subsea cables" for the membership of the International Cable Protection Committee (169 industry and government organisations with a vested interest in subsea cables).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.capacitymedia.com/articles/3827192/greening-the-seas
 
Description Mike Clare gave an invited talk on 17th June 2020 for the International Association of Sedimentologists via the SedsOnline platform ("Observing turbidity currents in the wild: New insights from direct field-scale measurements") 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation was attended by 106 scientists from around the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://sedsonline.com/meetings-library
 
Description Multiple meetings with industry partner ENI to discuss geohazards assessment for their offshore developments 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meetings at ENI offices to discuss their challenges, how NERC funded research can help them address that, analyse their data etc. Feedback has been positive and is being used to identify more effective field layout plans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
 
Description Performed review of geohazards assessment for proposed offshore power cable 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Providing guidance to METOC/INTERTEK based on analysis of offshore bathymetry data to inform the safe routing of an offshore power cable.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Presentation at Oceanology International Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at online Oceanology International conference on developing listening networks for deep-sea geohazards (Mike Clare) - 26th Nov 2020. The event had 2843 attendees, 117 countries were represented. My presentation received 322 viewers on demand, 603 total views, with 217 total viewing hours.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://noc.ac.uk/news/oceanology-international-2020
 
Description Presentation at Submarine Networks International Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Mike Clare gave an invited keynote on marine geohazards for subsea telecommunications cables networks, which prompted follow up discussions for collaboration and to access related research findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.terrapinn.com/conference/submarine-networks-world-europe/index.stm
 
Description Presentation for student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists on Monitoring Turbidity Currents - 28th Nov. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation highlighting results of recent research - >200 people attended in person.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2020
 
Description Presentation to industry conference (Oceanology International) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presented to 130 industry representatives on offshore geohazards assessments with positive feedback from the conference convenor from BP

"You were as impressive as ever and wowed (I believe the word is) the young BP staff present who had never seen you! To numbers. The room had seats for 176. I suspect you had about 120-130 after lunch. After the extended tea break we were down to only 36 - I counted that. You had around three times that. The second morning session was probably c 175 (a few empty seats but plenty standing)." Andy Hill, BP
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presented at European Subsea Cables Association Annual Plenary and support ESCA in discussions with OSPAR Commission 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I was invited to present on climate change, cables and the environment at the ESCA plenary meeting and was subsequently invited to support ESCA in their discussions on the Best Environmental Practices of Cable Installation and Maintenance and relevant sections of an ongoing Quality Status Review for the OSPAR Commission (where ESCA as official Observer Status). I have attended and presented at meetings for the Environmental Impacts of Human Activities (EIHA) of the OSPAR Commission and successfully proposed an update to guidance documents on the environmental effects of subsea cables that will feed into future planning of routes in deep water, and in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. I will continue to support ESCA and liaise with various national parties involved in these updates over the coming months.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description Presented at International Cable Protection Committee annual plenary meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Gave invited talk as Marine Environmental Advisor to the 160 member organizations to the ICPC (incl. industry and government representatives from >30 countries) providing updates on state of knowledge regarding threats to subsea cables (incl climate change), climate change effects on vulnerable ecosystems and environmental effects of subsea cables, and developments in novel monitoring in the deep-sea to better understand marine hazards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Presented on new approaches to direct monitoring of natural hazards for offshore infrastructure 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presented on new approaches to direct monitoring of natural hazards for offshore infrastructure to audience of c.500 industry representatives at Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics international conference in London (September). Output delivered initially as a white paper, developed with industry partners from HR Wallingford, and later accepted as a peer-reviewed paper (http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517514/). These new approaches provide UK industry organisations, such as partner Fugro GeoConsulting Ltd and Atkins Ltd, with new approaches to quantify impact and risk posed to critical seafloor infrasrtucture which underpins our day to day communication links (cables) and energy supplies (pipelines). Minimising the risk posed to offshore infrastructure, reduces the likelihood of broken communications (which could costs the UK £Bs in lost financial trading for instance) or the loss of harmful hydrocarbons to the environment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presented to Treasury and BEIS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presented to Treasury and BEIS on environmental risks to infrastructure and showcase novel direct monitoring approaches developed through NERC funding at visit to NOC Southampton (1st February 2017).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2017
 
Description Provision of guidance on threats to subsea telecom cables based on recent monitoring analysis 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Various technical workshops, online presentations and webinars with telecom companies incl. Google, Vodafone, BT, Alcatel, Angola Cables and the International Cable Protection Committee. New routes for subsea cables were revised as a result of this engagement which should ensure that future connections are more resilient.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2020,2021
 
Description Turbidity current hazard workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 2 day workshop to highlight advances and opportunities to perform offshore industry hazard assessments. The workshop aimed to identify future collaborative research directions that will help industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visits to Global Marine and Alcatel Submarine Networks to discuss environmental impacts of deep sea cables 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Technical workshops held at company offices to discuss impact of seafloor cables in the N Atlantic. Follow up meetings planned to share data and set up collaborative research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Visits with non-ERIIP industry organisations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visits with non-ERIIP industry organisations, to discuss needs and challenges for infrastructure assessments (esp. scour, marine hazards), and to share new research findings on statistical assessment and emerging direct monitoring approaches, including: Fugro (22nd Feb, Oxfordshire); Sonardyne (1st March, Southampton); Fugro and D'Appolonia (14-16th March, 21st-23rd Nov, Bremen); HR Wallingford (14th July, 13th Sept, 1st Dec).
Chevron (30th March), ICPC (11th April), BP (13th April, 6th June, 13th June), Schulmberger (19th April), East Point Geo (20th April),
Sonardyne and MARS Innovation Centre (Jan), Natural Resources Canada (7th May), Atkins (7th June, 24th July), POST (11th October), Ocean Networks Canda (27th Nov).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2019