Modal Project Presentation

The MODAL project aims to carry out geohazard analysis associated with sediment deformations in a submarine environment prone to fluid activities, earthquake shaking and landslides. The study area – the Nice Slope (France) – is nested in heavily populated areas, highly exposed to geohazards and is sadly famous for the 1979 catastrophic submarine landslide. Recent analyses have suggested the presence of active deformation processes linked to the presence of shear zones at the edge of the shelf break, an area susceptible to slope failure. The area is considered today as a natural laboratory for landslide initiation studies.

The major challenging scientific task in this project is to unravel the coupling between external factors (groundwater activity related to precipitation and sediment loading) and the high-frequency triggering of small-scale submarine landslides. More specifically, the slope displacement rates, fluid pressure and groundwater tracers will be monitored along different locations using innovative in situ seafloor instruments as part of the EMSO real-time network. Results will enable to assess numerically the probability of failure of the slope in response to external mechanisms.