The Rosetta Stone Network: Physical testing towards a common unstanding of debris flow

Debris flows, fast moving landslides comprised of rock, soil and water, are an increasing global hazard

CIV_Rosetta Stone Network


However, despite separate advances in the fluid mechanics, granular physics, earth sciences and geotechnical engineering communities, a holistic understanding of the mechanics of these complex flows remains elusive. This proposal 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.

Partner institutions include: the University of Sheffield, UK (Lead); Queens University, Canada; IAN-BOKU, Austria; WSL, Switzerland, and Durham University, UK.

Results are being shared, interpreted according to the different paradigms adopted within each network discipline, and communicated via an open-access repository in order to better predict runout and impact loads via improved validation and calibration of numerical models.



Research Themes


Project Dates

Start Date : 01/02/2017

End Date : 31/07/2021 

People Involved

Dr Elisabeth Bowman
Nicoletta Sanvitale (PDRA)
Yuting Zhao (PhD)

Our league table rankings

Top 50 in the world and 7th in the UK according to the QS World University rankings by subject (2022).

11th in the UK according to the Times University League Table (2021).

8th in the UK according to the Complete University Guide (2021).

REF 2021 illustration

Research Excellence Framework 2021 results

The results demonstrate our research and impact excellence across a broad range of disciplines and confirm that our research is having a significant positive impact on lives across the globe.