Dr Elisabeth Bowman
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Reader in Geomechanics
+44 114 222 5747
Full contact details
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
38 Mappin Street
My work aims to understand how landslides, high speed debris flows and rock avalanches behave, so we can protect lives and infrastructure from their impact.
Dr Elisabeth Bowman
Elisabeth (Lis) Bowman completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge and spent several years in consulting practice. She received her PhD in 2002 researching the mechanics of creep and ageing in freshly disturbed granular materials.
She then spent three years as a Royal Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge exploring the mechanics of large and catastrophic landslides via physical modelling, after which she joined the academic staff at the University in Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.
There she gained valuable field experience in investigating landslide and earthquake behaviour as well as continuing with experimental research and numerical modelling of slope stability / landslide mechanics.
Lis joined our Department in 2013. Her research is aimed at understanding particulate-scale mechanisms of geomaterials under deformation, including roles of particle size segregation, creep and fracture that produce important and sometimes puzzling geotechnical phenomena. Questions being addressed:
- What is the role of particle breakage in the runout of large rock avalanches?
- How does particle size segregation and pore pressure influence the velocity and run out of debris flows? How does this affect barrier design?
- How can seepage induced internal erosion of fine particles be characterized towards increased safety of hydraulic structures such as dams and levees?
- Why and how do granular soils “age” (increase in strength and stiffness with time)?
The investigative tools she uses in her research include physical modelling, transparent soil, high speed imaging, PIV and PTV techniques, centrifuge, flume and element testing and field mapping.
- Research interests
- Physical modelling of geotechnical problems using centrifuge experimental facilities
- Transparent soils and non-intrusive physical modelling
- Foundation engineering (such as monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines)
- Resilience of infrastructure such as slopes, embankments, flood defences etc. to climate change
- Soil reinforcement though mechanically stabilised soils.
- Creep of granular soils leading to observed ageing effects
- Mechanisms behind the extraordinary spreading of large and catastrophic rock avalanches, including static-dynamic behaviour of rock breakage
- Mechanics of the motion of debris flows with a view to better modelling of their runout behaviour
- Behaviour of granular flows within geotechnical centrifuge physical model experiments
- Internal erosion of susceptible soils (such as glacial tills), which may lead to internal instability in embankment dams, levees and canals
- Local deformation modes of model geosynthetic reinforced soil walls under seismic loading
- Experimental investigation on the impact dynamics of saturated granular flows on rigid barriers. Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, 27(1), 127-138. View this article in WRRO
- Engineering behaviour and mechanical - empirical relationships for a problematic New Zealand tropical residual soil. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. View this article in WRRO
- Analysis of the Fabric of Undisturbed and Pluviated Silty Sand under Load over Time. European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering. View this article in WRRO
- Visualisation of seepage-induced suffusion and suffosion within internally erodible granular media. Géotechnique, 68(10), 918-930. View this article in WRRO
- Extended kinetic theory applied to inclined granular flows: role of boundaries. Granular Matter, 19. View this article in WRRO
- Performance of PIV and PTV for granular flow measurements. Granular Matter, 19. View this article in WRRO
- Visualization of dominant stress-transfer mechanisms in experimental debris flows of different particle-size distribution. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 54(2), 258-269. View this article in WRRO
- Stability evaluation and prediction of the Dongla reactivated ancient landslide as well as emergency mitigation for the Dongla Bridge. Landslides, 1-16. View this article in WRRO
- Using PIV to measure granular temperature in saturated unsteady polydisperse granular flows. Granular Matter, 18(3). View this article in WRRO
- Debris flows: Experiments and modelling. Comptes Rendus Physique, 16(1), 86-96.
- Observations of grain-scale interactions and simulation of dry granular flows in a large-scale flume. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 52(5), 638-655.
- Physical and numerical modelling of dry granular flows under Coriolis conditions. Geotechnique, 65(3), 188-200.
- The runout of chalk cliff collapses in England and France-case studies and physical model experiments. Landslides.
- Seismic testing of model-scale geosynthetic reinforced soil walls. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 45(4).
- Internal imaging of saturated granular free-surface flows. International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, 12(4), 129-142. View this article in WRRO
- Dynamic fragmentation of rock clasts under normal compression in sturzstrom. Geotechnique Letters, 2(7-9), 167-172. View this article in WRRO
- Physical models of rock avalanche spreading behaviour with dynamic fragmentation. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 49(4), 460-476.
- Evidence of earthquake-induced liquefaction obtained from GeoEye-1 images. Geotechnique Letters, 2(4-6), 49-53. View this article in WRRO
- Progressive failure and shear band development within model-scale reinforced soil walls subject to seismic shaking. Geotechnique Letters, 1(3), 53-57.
- Quantifying and modeling post-failure sediment yields from laboratory-scale soil erosion and shallow landslide experiments with silty loess. Geomorphology, 129(1-2), 49-58.
- Geotechnical reconnaissance of the 2010 Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 43(4), 243-320. View this article in WRRO
- Experimental modelling of debris flow behaviour using a geotechnical centrifuge. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 47(7), 742-762.
- The influence of shallow landslides on sediment supply: A flume-based investigation using sandy soil. Engineering Geology, 109(3-4), 161-169.
- Mechanisms of setup of displacement piles in sand: Laboratory creep tests. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 42(5), 1391-1407.
- Creep, ageing and microstructural change in dense granular materials. Soils and Foundations, 43(4), 107-117.
- Particle shape characterisation using Fourier descriptor analysis. Geotechnique, 51(6), 545-554.
- Research group
Earthquake Engineering Group
Awareness is growing that seepage forces imparted on individual particles can preferentially erode the smaller particles in sandy soils. There can be significant internal erosion of the soil under scenarios that are considered safe according to the classical continuum calculations used in engineering practice; this phenomenon is called internal instability.
This project aims to create a “Rosetta Stone” of communication between the disciplines through physical tests undertaken with common material characteristics, informed by monitored field events, leading to improved numerical models.
- Potential PhD offerings
Unfortunately I am not seeking any PhD Students at this time, however please contact me if you are interested in doing a project in my area of research.