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The International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Project 585 5th international Symposium on 'Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences'

Date: October 24 – 26, 2011
Venue: Shiran-Kaikan, Kyoto University, Japan

Organized by:
International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Project 585

Co-organized by:
Global COE Program “Global Center for Education and Research on Human Security Engineering for Asian Megacities”, and Geological Society of Japan

Supported by:
UNESCO, International Union of Geological Science (IUGS), Integrated Ocean Drilling Program- Management International (IODP-MI), Japan Drilling Earth Science Consortium (J-DESC), Society of Exploration Geophysicists of Japan, The Japanese Geotechnical Society, Japan Association for Quaternary Research, The Sedimentological Society of Japan, Japan Society of Engineering Geology, Japan Society for Active Fault Studies, The Japan Landslide Society, Seismological Society of Japan, Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics, Tokyo Geographical Society, Inoue Foundation

Number of attendants: 136 from 16 countries

Report 167


This symposium is part of the International Geoscience Programme IGCP-585, also known as E-MARSHAL project (, a joint endeavor of UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences. The main objective of this event is to bring a world-wide perspective of submarine mass movements and their consequences by assembling state-of-the-art contributions from international researchers of academic institutions and the offshore industry, and to stimulate the research in Asian countries. This symposium provides full coverage of the scientific and engineering aspects of this type of marine and coastal geo-hazards.


At the beginning of the symposium, Kyoji Sassa (Executive Director of International Consortium on Landslides, Emeritus Professor of Kyoto University) outlined key subjects of submarine landslide research in his keynote speach, and Roger Urgeles (Institute of Marine Sciences, Spain), leader of the IGCP-585, introduced the history and previous achievements of submarine landslide research conducted by IGCP projects.
Invited Keynote Speakers presented state-of-the-art science on submarine landslides all over the world. Brandon Dugan (Rice University, USA) reviewed the role of overpressure and flow focusing on slope failures. Andrew Lin (National Central University, Taiwan) introduced incidents off SW Taiwan and explained the processes and products of flood-induced hyperpycnal flows vs. earthquake-triggered turbidity currents. Farrokh Nadim (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute) reviewed concepts on risk assessment for earthquake-induced submarine slides. Gian Andrea Pini (University of Bologna, Italy) reported ancient submarine slide deposits and argued that sedimentary mélanges and fossil mass-transport complexes can be a key for better understanding submarine mass movements. Kenji Satake (University of Tokyo) also summarized recent concepts on tsunamis generated by submarine landslides.
Panel discussion 1 “Post-Failure Dynamics of submarine landslides” highlights key subjects on the post-failure dynamics of submarine landslides. In Panel Discussion 2 “The consequences of the M9.0 earthquake off Tohoku: the mechanism of the Tohoku Tsunami” specialists in various fields discuss the background and mechanism of the massive M9.0 earthquake off Tohoku and the devastating tsunami. Panel Discussion 3, “Risk analysis and management” focuses on the application of science and engineering for disaster prevention in offshore operations.
A hardcover book "Submarine Mass Movement and Their Consequences" was published by Springer under the "Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research" Series, Vol. 34 (ISBN 978-94-007-2161-6). This book consists of 66 peer-reviewed articles presented at this symposium. More information is available on the conference website