Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Mikael Attal

Senior Lecturer

Profile photo

Research Interests

Research interest: Within the Global Change research group, I am part of the Land Surface Dynamics research group (FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/edinlandsurf). I combine the analysis of real landscapes (collection of field data, topographic analysis) with numerical modelling and experimental studies to constrain the relationships between tectonics, erosion and the development of topography. My current research focuses on understanding the coupling between hillslopes and rivers, characterizing and quantifying fluvial erosion and transport processes in mountain rivers, and defining the role that sediments play in modulating fluvial erosion rates. My work can help extracting tectonic information from topography, with implication for assessing seismic and landslide hazard. Understanding the release and transfer of sediment can also help retrieving past tectonic and climatic signals in the geological archive (stratigraphy), as well as mitigating risks in sedimentary basins. The risks I am particularly interested in include flooding risk from in-channel sediment aggradation (e.g., response of Himalayan rivers to the recent Nepal 2015 earthquakes), and siltation and heavy metal pollution (e.g., new project on the environmental impact of nickel mining in the Philippines).

If you want to know more about me, please visit my personal webpage: http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/mattal

My research in a nutshell

In this video Mikael describes how he studies river erosion and the evolution of mountainous landscapes. He tracks sediment grains (the “tools” for erosion) from hillslopes where they originate to rivers.

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