Aura CDT PhD Student Researching Tsunami Impacts in Japan

22 August 2023

Ben Pickett is a PhD candidate with the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training, based at the University of Hull. He has recently returned from an extended study trip to Japan where he’s been able to combine specialist research sessions with overseas supervisors, with opportunities to undertake fieldwork.

Ben Pickett with a group of postgraduate students in Japan

Ben Pickett with a group of researchers in Japan

Ben’s research focuses around paleo-records relating to an ice-age Tsunami in the North Sea, and modelling how our current offshore wind infrastructure would be affected should a similar event strike. Ben’s supervisor, Dr Hajime Naruse of Kyoto University, is an expert in Inverse Analysis Modelling techniques and Ben has been able to work closely with him, in order to model tsunami effects against UK coastline. Ben plans to draw on previous UK tsunami data from the Storegga event, and use machine learning to eventually reconstruct the wave progression from North Sea to UK coastline.

Japan is much more prone to tsunami events than the UK. Ben was also able to carry out some fieldwork at Sendai, site of a 2011 tsunami, with another of his supervisors, Dr Naofumi Yamaguchi of Ibaraki University.

Ben timed his visit to enable him to attend the Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2023 (JGUM), where he presented elements of his PhD thesis via a 2-minute poster session, giving him valuable experience of sharing his research with a global audience.

Ben said of his trip: “I am excited to further develop my academic skills and my project’s data, while being able to experience a different culture”.

While at JGUM, Ben took time to go up Tokyo tower. Since establishing a base near the Kyoto University campus, he has already visited the nearby Nijo castle and has climbed local mountain, Mt Hiei and has plans to visit Hiroshima for a weekend and walk up some of Mt Fuji.

For more information about Ben Pickett’s research visit his student profile, or research project on the Aura CDT website.

A view from hill to coast on Ben Pickett's recent extended study trip to Japan

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