School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Wangcheng Zhang

Phone: (+61 4) 6924 4849
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1044


Start date

Aug 2014

Submission date

Sep 2017

Wangcheng Zhang

Wangcheng Zhang profile photo


Propagation Criteria for Catastrophic Submarine Landslides


The PhD research is composed of the following aspects.

1. Explore the initiation of submarine landslides. The effects of earthquakes, high rates of sedimentation, or methane hydrate dissociation will be simplified to understand the general potential triggering mechanism. Propagation criteria for catastrophic submarine landslides will be evaluated analytically and numerically. New analytical solutions taking account of different strength degradation curves will be established under both static and dynamic conditions. A large deformation finite element (LDFE) approach will be used to explore the triggering mechanism.

2. Study the combined effect of the fatal factors. The real behaviours of soft clays, such as rate-dependency measured through in-field penetrometer tests, will be taken into consideration.

3. Develop recommendations to improve identification of zones of the continental shelf break with increased landslide risk. This work will be combined with data acquisition and site investigation in geological engineering.

Why my research is important

Submarine landslides, that might induce failure of seabed infrastructure and even tsunamis, are ubiquitous geohazard particularly in deep water (i.e. beyond the continental shelf break). Interpretation of the initiation and propagation of submarine slides is essential for offshore oil and gas explorations. Quantification of the initiation of submarine slides can be used to predict the scale and geometry of original sliding mass. Although the failure mechanism of catastrophic landslides has been widely discussed, robust criteria that allow quantitative prediction of the conditions for catastrophic failure have yet to be developed for general cases.


  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS)
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)
  • Fugro Top-Up


School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Last updated:
Thursday, 19 September, 2013 11:39 AM