Prof David Tappin

Prof David Tappin

Principal researcher
BGS Keyworth

David Tappin’s Biography

  • 1999 – ongoing : Researching tsunamis from submarine landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
  • 1988 –1999 : Principal Researcher UK and International
  • 1983 –1988 : Chief Geologist, Kingdom of Tonga
  • 1973 –1983 : Research scientist mapping the UK Shelf

ORCID: 0000-0003-3186-8403

Research interests

  • Tsunamis from earthquakes, submarine landslides, volcanic collapse and meteorological effects
  • Geohazards and climate change
  • Coastal geohazards
  • Convergent margin processes
  • Quaternary geology of the Southern North Sea

Current projects and collaborations

  • 2018 – ongoing : Researching the 2018 tsunamis of Sulawesi and Anak Krakatu, Indonesia, and Krakatau, 1883 with UK and international collaborators
  • 2016 – ongoing : Researching UK tsunami hazard from submarine and subaerial landslides and meteotsunami


Key papers

  • Grilli, S T, Tappin, D R, Carey, S, Watt, S F L, Ward, S N, Grilli, A R, Engwell, S L, Zhang, C, Kirby, J T, Schambach, L, and Muin, M. 2019. Modelling of the tsunami from the December 22, 2018 lateral collapse of Anak Krakatau volcano in the Sunda Straits, Indonesia. Scientific Reports, 9(1): 11946.
  • Tappin, D R. 2017. The Generation of Tsunamis, Encyclopedia of Maritime and Offshore Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Tappin, D R. 2017. The importance of geologists and geology in tsunami science and tsunami hazard. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 456.
  • Tappin, D R, Grilli, S T, Harris, J C, Geller, R J, Masterlark, T, Kirby, J T, Shi, F, Ma, G, Thingbaijam, K K S, and Mai, P M. 2014. Did a submarine landslide contribute to the 2011 Tohoku tsunami? Marine Geology, Vol. 357, 344-361.
  • Tappin, D R, Sibley, A, Horsburgh, K, Daubord, C, Cox, D, and Long, D. 2013. The English Channel ‘tsunami’ of 27 June 2011 – a probable meteorological source. Weather. 68. 144-152.
  • Tappin, D R. 2013. Submarine Mass Failures as tsunami sources – their climate control, in: McGuire, W.J., Maslin, M. (Eds.) Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, London, pp. 166-192.
  • Tappin, D R, Evans, H, Jordan, C J, and Richmond, B W. 2012. Coastal changes from the impact of the 2011 Tōhoku-oki tsunami in the Sendai area: interpretations of time series satellite images and videos. Sed. Geol. 282. 151-174.
  • Tappin, D R, Watts, P, and Grilli, S T. 2008. The Papua New Guinea tsunami of 17 July 1998: anatomy of a catastrophic event. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., Vol. 8, 243–266.
  • McMurtry, G M, Tappin, D R, Wedwick, P N, Wilkinson,I, Fietzke, J, and Wellwood, B. 2007. Elevated marine deposits in Bermuda record a late Quaternary megatsunami. Sedimentary Geology, Vol. 200, 155–165.
  • Tappin, D R, McNeil, L, Henstock, T, and Mosher, D. 2007. Mass wasting processes – offshore Sumatra. 327–336 in Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences. LYKOUSIS, V, SAKELLARIOUS, D, and LOCAT, J (editors). (Springer.)
  • McMurtry, G M, Fryer, G J, Tappin, D R, Wilkinson, I P, Williams, M, Fietzk, J, Garbe-Schoenberg, D, and Watts, P. 2004. Megatsunami deposits on Kohala volcano, Hawaii, from flank collapse of Mauna Loa. Geology, Vol. 32, 741–744.
  • Tapping, D R, Watts, P, McMurtry, G M, Lafoy, Y, and Matsumoto, T. 2001. The Sissano Papua New Guinea tsunami of July 1998 – offshore evidence on the source mechanism. Marine Geology, Vol. 175, 1–23.


  • Marine mapping from hydroacoustic data
  • Seismic interpretation
  • Management of large multidisciplinary science projects
  • Sedimentology
  • Teaching coastal and marine geohazards


  • 2009 – ongoing : Visiting Professor, University College, London

Professional associations

  • Fellow, Geological Society of London
  • Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Member, American Geophysical Union


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