Physics projects for Y3 and Y4 students

Project description

Tsunami Simulations

(supervisor: Youra Taroyan)

Nature of project: software, theory

Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.

Project description and methodology

Tsunamis are water waves caused by earthquakes or landslides. The generation and propagation of these waves will be discussed using the shallow water equations. These equations are derived from the Navier-Stokes equations under the assumption that the vertical scale is smaller than the horizontal scale. The tsunami propagation will be analysed in one and two dimensions in the linear and nonlinear regimes. The propagation speed will be determined for variuous conditions.

A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
Tsunami simulations will be run and visualised in real-time animations using an interactive software for simulation of coastal processes. The simulated tsunamis for different initial amplitudes, water heights, and other parameters will be compared.

When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.

Additional scope or challenge if taken as a Year-4 project: Tsunamis become dangerous when they reach the coast: they grow as the water becomes more and more shallow. An increase in wave amplitude when waves, including tsunamis, run from deep to shallow water is known as shoaling. The effects of shoaling will be studied.

Please speak to Youra Taroyan if you consider doing this project.

Initial literature for students:

  1. Tavakkol, S., & Lynett, P. (2017). Celeris: A GPU-accelerated open source software with a Boussinesq-type wave solver for real-time interactive simulation and visualization. Computer Physics Communications, 217, 117-127.
  2. Hereman W. (2012) Shallow Water Waves and Solitary Waves. In: Meyers R. (eds) Mathematics of Complexity and Dynamical Systems. Springer, New York, NY. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1308.5383.pdf
  3. Dutykh, D. (2007) Mathematical modelling of tsunami waves. Mathematics École normalesupérieure de Cachan - ENS Cachan. https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-00194763v2/document

Novelty, degree of difficulty and amount of assistance required

The project is suitable for those who want to learn running numerical experiments.

Project milestones and deliverables (including timescale)

milestoneto be completed by
code installationend of October
setting up and running the codeChristmas
Preliminary results, Visualisationend of February
Overview of the resultsEaster