Departmental Research Projects
Professor Nick Rosser, BSc (Hons) 1st Class (Dunelm), PhD (Dunelm)
My primary research is focused upon the recognition of the role of material deformation characteristics in controlling the spatial and temporal nature of rockfalls and landslides. Using data collected both in the laboratory and in the field, I am interested in exploring theoretical models which underpin recent developments in the understanding the mechanics of slope failure. My research is most often end-user focussed, with an emphasis on risk management which broadly considers when, why, where and how landslides occur. My recent research has focussed in two areas: earthquake-triggered landsliding; and, the development and use of 3D time-series terrestrial imaging techniques to monitor slope failure at unprecedented levels of spatial and temporal detail.
I am currently PI on series of projects that enable my research group to pursue these interests. For example, I lead the long term Coastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity (COBRA) research collaboration that runs in partnership with ICL Fertilizers (UK) Ltd, conducting fundamental research on rock slope failure, coastal evolution and deep mining in North Yorkshire, UK. I also lead a project focussed around providing a rolling assessment of the evolution of landslide risk in the area impacted by the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, working with DFID-Nepal and the National Society for Earthquake Technology (Kathmandu).
A short video (2014) summarising some of my research is available on Youtube.
- Coastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity (COBRA)
- Monitoring Programme for the Whitby TV Mast Site
- Landslide hazard and risk
- Rock slope failure
- 3D terrestrial monitoring
- Rock coast evolution
Chapter in book
- de Vilder, S.J., Rosser, N.J., Brain, M.J. & Vann Jones, E.C. Forensic rockfall scar analysis: Development of a mechanically correct model of rockfall failure. In: De Graff, J.V. & Shakoor, A. Landslides: Putting Experience, Knowledge and Emerging Technologies into Practice. Zanesville, Ohio: Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG); 2017:829-839.
- Whadcoat, S.K., Rosser, N.J., Brain, M.J. & Hardy, R.J. Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Rockfalls in Hard Rock Coastal Cliffs. In: De Graff, J.V. & Shakoor, A. Landslides: Putting Experience, Knowledge and Emerging Technologies into Practice. Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG); 2017:633 - 644.
- Benjamin, J., Rosser, N.J. & Brain, M.J. Rockfall detection and volumetric characterisation using LiDAR. In: Aversa, S., Cascini, L., Picarelli, L. & Scavia, C. Landslides and Engineered Slopes: Experience, Theory and Practice. CRC Press; 2016:389 - 396.
- de Vilder, S.J., Brain, M.J. & Rosser, N.J. Controls on the geotechnical response of sedimentary rocks to weathering. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2019;44:1910-1929.
- Swirad, Z.M., Rosser, N.J. & Brain, M.J. Identifying mechanisms of shore platform erosion using Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2019;44:1542-1558.
- Kennedy, David M., Woods, Josephine L.D., Naylor, Larissa A., Hansom, James D. & Rosser, Nick J. Intertidal boulder-based wave hindcasting can underestimate wave size: Evidence from Yorkshire, UK. Marine Geology. 2019;411:98-106.
- Milledge, D.G., Densmore, A.L., Bellugi, D., Rosser, N.J., Watt, J., Li, G. & Oven, K.J. Simple rules to minimise exposure to coseismic landslide hazard. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2019;19:837-856.
- Robinson, TR, Rosser, NJ & Walters, RJ The spatial and temporal influence of cloud cover on satellite-based emergency mapping of earthquake disasters. Scientific Reports. 2019;9:12455
- Vann Jones, E.C., Rosser, N.J. & Brain, M.J. Alongshore variability in wave energy transfer to coastal cliffs. Geomorphology. 2018;322:1-14.
- Robinson, T.R., Rosser, N.J., Davies, T.R.H., Wilson, T.M. & Orchiston, C. Near-real-time modelling of landslide impacts to inform rapid response: an example from the 2016 Kaikoura, New Zealand, earthquake. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 2018;108:1665-1682.
- Williams, J. G., Rosser, N. J., Hardy, R. J., Brain, M. J. & Afana, A. A. Optimising 4-D surface change detection: an approach for capturing rockfall magnitude–frequency. Earth Surface Dynamics. 2018;6:101-119.
- Williams, J.G., Rosser, N.J., Kincey, M.E., Benjamin, J., Oven, K.J., Densmore, A.L., Milledge, D.G., Robinson, T.R., Jordan, C.A. & Dijkstra, T.A. Satellite-based emergency mapping using optical imagery: experience and reflections from the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2018;18:185-205.
- Benjamin, J., Rosser, N.J., Dunning, S.A., Hardy, R.J., Kelfoun, K. & Szczuciński, W. Transferability of a calibrated numerical model of rock avalanche run-out: application to 20 rock avalanches on the Nuussuaq Peninsula, West Greenland. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2018;43:3057-3073.
- Robinson, T.R., Rosser, N.J., Densmore, A.L., Oven, K.J., Shrestha, S.N. & Guragain, R. Use of scenario ensembles for deriving seismic risk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2018;115:E9532–E9541.
- Kennedy, D.K., Vann Jones, E.C., Dickson, M.E. & Rosser, N.J. Wind waves and cliff shaking on macrotidal shore platforms: A case-study from North Yorkshire, U.K. Journal of Coastal Research. 2018;436-440.
- Kirkham, James D., Rosser, Nick J., Wainwright, John, Vann Jones (née Norman), Emma C., Dunning, Stuart A., Lane, Victoria S., Hawthorn, David E., Strzelecki, Mateusz C. & Szczuciński, Witold Drift-dependent changes in iceberg size-frequency distributions. Scientific Reports. 2017;7:15991.
- de Vilder, S.J., Rosser, N.J. & Brain, M.J. Forensic analysis of rockfall scars. Geomorphology. 2017;295:202-214.
- Robinson, T.R., Rosser, N.J., Densmore, A.L., Williams, J.G., Kincey, M.E., Benjamin, J. & Bell, H.J.A. Rapid post-earthquake modelling of coseismic landsliding intensity and distribution for emergency response decision support. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2017;17:1521-1540.
- Brain, M.J., Rosser, N.J. & Tunstall, N. The control of earthquake sequences on hillslope stability. Geophysical Research Letters. 2017;44:865-872.
- Schürch, P., Densmore, A.L., Ivy-Ochs, S., Rosser, N.J., Kober, F., Schlunegger, F., McArdell, B. & Alfimov, V. Quantitative reconstruction of late Holocene surface evolution on an alpine debris-flow fan. Geomorphology. 2016;275:46-57.
- Swirad, Z.M., Rosser, N.J., Brain, M.J. & Vann Jones, E.C. What controls the geometry of rocky coasts at the local scale?. Journal of Coastal Research. 2016;75:612-616.
- Vann Jones (née Norman), E. C., Rosser, N. J., Brain, M. J. & Petley, D. N. Quantifying the environmental controls on erosion of a hard rock cliff. Marine Geology. 2015;363:230-242.
- Dunning, S.A., Rosser, N.J., McColl, S.T. & Reznichenko, N.V. Rapid sequestration of rock avalanche deposits within glaciers. Nature Communications. 2015;6:7964.
- Barlow, J., Barisin, I., Rosser, N., Petley, D., Densmore, A. & Wright, T. Seismically-induced mass movements and volumetric fluxes resulting from the 2010 Mw = 7.2 earthquake in the Sierra Cucapah, Mexico. Geomorphology. 2015;230:138-145.
- Parker, R.N., Hancox, G.T., Petley, D.N., Massey, C.I., Densmore, A.L. & Rosser, N.J. Spatial distributions of earthquake-induced landslides and hillslope preconditioning in northwest South Island, New Zealand. Earth Surface Dynamics. 2015;3:501-525.
- Brain, M.J., Rosser, N.J., Sutton, J., Snelling, K., Tunstall, N. & Petley, D.N. The effects of normal and shear stress wave phasing on coseismic landslide displacement. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. 2015;120:1009-1022.
- Davies, T.R.H., Beaven, S., Conradson, D., Densmore, A., Gaillard, J.C., Johnston, D., Milledge, D., Oven, K., Petley, D., Rigg, J., Robinson, T.R., Rosser, N. & Wilson, T. Towards disaster resilience: A scenario-based approach to co-producing and integrating hazard and risk knowledge. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 2015;13:242-247.
- Brain, M.J., Rosser, N.J., Norman, E.C. & Petley, D.N. Are microseismic ground displacements a significant geomorphic agent?. Geomorphology. 2014;207:161-173.
- Norman, E.C., Rosser, N.J., Brain, M.J., Petley, D.N. & Lim, M. Coastal cliff-top ground motions as proxies for environmental processes. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans. 2013;118:6807 - 6823.
- Rosser, N.J., Brain, M.J., Petley, D.N., Lim, M. & Norman, E.C. Coastline retreat via progressive failure of rocky coastal cliffs. Geology. 2013;41:939-942.
- Abellán, A, Oppikofer, T, Jaboyedoff, M, Rosser, NJ, Lim, M & Lato, MJ Terrestrial laser scanning of rock slope instabilities. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2013;80 - 97.
- Barlow, J., Lim, M., Rosser, N.J., Petley, D.N., Brain, M.J., Norman, E.C. & Geer, M. Modeling cliff erosion using negative power law scaling of rockfalls. Geomorphology. 2012;139-140:416–424.
- Schürch, P., Densmore, A.L., Rosser, N.J., Lim, M. & McArdell, B. Detection of surface change in complex topography using terrestrial laser scanning: application to the Illgraben debris-flow channel. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2011;36:1847-1859.
- Schürch, P., Densmore, A.L., Rosser, N.J. & McArdell, B.W. Dynamic controls on erosion and deposition on debris-flow fans. Geology. 2011;39:827-830.
- Parker, R.N., Densmore, A.L., Rosser, N.J., de Michele, M., Li, Y., Huang, R., Whadcoat, S. & Petley, D.N. Mass wasting triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake is greater than orogenic growth. Nature Geoscience. 2011;4:449-452.
- Lim, M., Rosser, N.J., Allison, R. & Petley, D.N. Erosional processes in the hard rock coastal cliffs at Staithes, North Yorkshire. Geomorphology. 2010;114:12-21.
- 2017: Earthquake triggered landsliding in Nepal: NERC / DFID SHEAR
- 2017: Harnessing 'citizen science' to reinforce resilience to environmental disasters
- 2016: Automatic Detection and Early Warning of Landslide Hazard in South Asia
- 2016: Cowbar Nab Coastal Monitoring 2016-2019, Scarborough Borough Council
- 2014: Coastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity (2014 - 19)
- 2012: Real time 4D monitoring of actively failing rockslopes, 3DLM Ltd, 2012 - 15. KTP Award
- 2011: Cowbar Coastal Monitoring and Environmental Data, R&CBC, 2011 - 15
- 2008: Analogue modelling of brittle failure in landslides, NERC - Young Investigator Grant
- 2006: 4D monitoring of Whitby East Cliff, National Grid Wireless
- 2015: Coastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity (2015 -)
- 2012: Coastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity (2012 - 15)
- 2008: Whitby coastal strategy, Royal Haskoning UK Ltd