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Wolfram Summer SchoolFounded in 2003

16th Annual Wolfram Summer School, held at Bentley University June 24–July 13, 2018


Luisa Palamenghi

Wolfram Science

Class of 2015


Luisa graduated in marine geophysics from the Geoscience Department of the University of Bremen, and got her master's in marine environmental sciences at the Università degli Studi di Genova. After two years as a post-doc in the Marum center in Bremen, part of the German Cluster of Excellence "The Ocean in the Earth System" within the CARIMA Project (natural versus anthropogenic controls of past monsoon variability in Central Asia recorded in marine archives), she enrolled in the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology as a quality control manager.

Heading toward modeling of natural processes and always fascinated by complexity, Luisa approached A New Kind of Science with the expectation of improving our understanding of instability processes along submarine continental margins to apply in offshore risk assessments to optimize the benefit-cost ratio during planning phases and in predictions of geo-hazardous events in coastal areas.

Project: A Simplified Authigenic Sediment Dynamic System Externally Forced

Submarine sedimentary sequences, in their essence, are built up by successions of discrete depositional events exhibiting different magnitudes, distributions, grain-sizes, and, above all, recurrent frequencies.

They are initiated by any mechanism, but, at the state of art, there does not exist universal criteria to discriminate external triggering mechanisms such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, and internal triggering mechanisms such as collapses. Neither are the transport processes always obvious, like whether it involves turbidity or debris or transitional flows. Moreover, no global pattern in their occurrence is observed along submarine continental margins or deep sea basins. Hence, large uncertainties arise when dealing with triggering and transport mechanisms statistics concerning randomness, cycling, or clustering.

In order to improve our comprehension of geo-hazardous events harmful for coastal populations, infrastructures, and natural habitats, the main objective of my research project is to model a simplified authigenic sedimentary system perturbed by an external force. For this purpose I intend to explore the potential of a 1D sand pile model and a 2D abelian sandpile model. Both models exhibit nesting that emerges when the sequential grain dropping to the pile results in avalanches of different sizes that yield activity that lasts for a varying numbers of steps through the evolution for successive cycles. As external forcing, it will be limited to the maximum size of piles in the 1D sandpile model and to the threshold function in the 2D abelian sandpile model.

The obtained results will be compared with the magnitudes, distributions, and volumes of discrete depositional events observed in the Swatch of No Ground (SoNG) Canyon located off the shore of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Bangladesh, recorded by means of seismo-acoustic and sedimentological records. The data has been collected during exploration campaigns onboard the R/V SONNE-93, Bengal Fan, -126, Bengal Fan and Shelf, and -188, Bengal Sea Level, in collaboration between the University of Bremen and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in Hanover.