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Durham University

Research & business

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Ms Natasha Chapplow, BSc (Hons)

PhD Student in the Department of Earth Sciences

Contact Ms Natasha Chapplow (email at

Research Overview

My research interests are centred on improving our understanding of sea-bed hugging flows called turbidity currents, as they are volumetrically the most important sediment transport process on our planet. The rapid speeds (up to 20m/s) that these flows are capable of achieving is a key component of their destructive nature, and accounts for the lack of direct and detailed monitoring of these events, hence they currently remain poorly understood.

Currently my research focuses on the analysis of the first direct observations of turbidity currents in the deep ocean. Data is acquired via a series of instrumented moorings deployed along Monterey Canyon, a large submarine canyon, located offshore of California, USA. Through the development of numerical models it will be possible to capture general insights into how these flows behave. In addition to validating these models against this unique field data, cutting edge robotics including the next generation of sensor networks, will play a crucial role in demonstrating how advances in acoustic data transfer, self-propelling wave gliders, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) can contribute towards step changes in our understanding of turbidity currents.

This research is funded by the NERC IAPETUS CASE Doctoral Training Partnership in collaboration with Exxon Mobil.


  • 2017 – Present: PhD, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
  • 2014 – 2017: BSc (Hons) Geology with Ocean Science, Plymouth University 

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Interests

  • Turbidity Currents
  • Sedimentology
  • Sediment Transport



Is supervised by

Selected Grants

  • 2017: Field testing novel sensor systems for time-lapse monitoring of seafloor geohazards at globel test sites (NERC IAPETUS CASE Studentship)

International Collaboration

  • MABARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute), California (USA)