Janneli Lea Acierto SORIA

My PhD research is focused on the geological impacts of coastal hazards in the Philippines including storm surges and tsunamis. These hazards are very common in the Philippines, but their geological impacts remain understudied. I combine several methods to study storms or tsunamis in three time frames- modern (few years to decades), historical (hundred years) and paleo (thousand years) events.

For the modern events, I compare satellite images taken before and after an event to map landscape changes over the affected areas. I interview local people who have witnessed the inundation event to confirm my observations from satellite images. I scour the coast to search for the storm or tsunami deposits, and collect samples for laboratory analyses including grain size, mineral, and microfaunal assemblages. The characteristics of the recent storm or tsunami sediments are used as models of events in the past.

I also reconstruct historical and paleo- storm and tsunami events based on historical accounts and stratigraphic investigation of sediment cores and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) profiles. The longer –term geological records of storm and tsunamis will improve our understanding on the physical processes of these hazards and how often they occur. Such knowledge is critical in validating and developing inundation models, and in building appropriate adaptation strategies to minimize socio-economic impact of these hazards.

  • Msc Geology, University of Philippines
  • Bsc Geology, University of Philippines