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Paul Liu

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Grants

Date: 08/15/17 - 8/31/22
Amount: $239,137.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

This is an interdisciplinary two-year international collaborative project to explore and examine the fate of sediment delivered from the Irrawaddy and Salween (I-S) river system to the highly understudied Gulf of Martaban and Andaman Sea (Fig.1). This research consists of an intensive field program including geophysical surveys and geological coring, integrated with a numerical study of the tide, circulation, and sediment dynamics. During a recent visit to Myanmar (Burma), discussions with colleagues at the Yangon University and the University of Mawlamyine have initiated the first-step in an international collaborative study in waters not previously accessible to US scientists (see letters of support). Working with our local partners, we have identified an appropriate and affordable research ship to conduct seismic sonar surveys, gravity coring and water sampling near the river mouths and in shelf waters (see attached documents). The proposed research will serve as an initial opportunity for collaboration and international exchange with Myanmar scientists, and the survey and study will not only improve our knowledge of the bathymetric features and the nature of sedimentation in this tide-dominated gulf and sea, but also provide ground truth for the seasonal remote sensing signals and interpretations, and provide boundary data inputs and verification for coastal numerical modeling. Additionally, as we describe below, the Irrawaddy – Salween River System appears to have unique features in terms of proximal – to – distal sediment features, clinoform features, and a range of forcing mechanisms that span storm (cyclones), seasonal (monsoons), and geologic (tectonics) scales. With the groundwork laid by recent visits with local scientists, now is an opportune time to move forward with exploring the intriguing sediment dynamics of this region. This initial collaborative research and scholar-student exchange should lay the groundwork for more US scientists and students to participate in future multidisciplinary collaborations with Myanmar, particularly in the fields of river, delta, coastal ocean, and environmental and climate change related studies.

Date: 09/01/17 - 9/30/19
Amount: $23,242.00
Funding Agencies: US Navy-Office Of Naval Research

The Irrawaddy currently ranks as the third largest river in the world in terms of suspended sediment discharge, and together with the Salween contributes more than 600 MT of sediment annually. This combined river system also transports 5.7–8.8 MT C/yr of organic carbon, suggesting that it may be the second largest point source of organic carbon to the global ocean after the Amazon. To understand how much of the Irrawaddy-Salween derived sediment is trapped on their deltas and how much to the adjacent continental shelf, we plan to start a collaborative research with scientists from Myanmar. Most recently, National Science Foundation (NSF) has decided to fund us an exploratory collaborative survey on the shelf off the I-S system to under stand the flux and fate of the riverine sediment to the Andaman Sea. To help this collaborative research activity and promote scholar-student exchange between the US and Myanmar, we hereby ask some Participant Supports ($24k) for the Myanmar scientists and students to visit and work in two collaborative labs in US: NC State University and Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Date: 11/01/13 - 6/30/18
Amount: $420,776.00
Funding Agencies: US Navy-Office Of Naval Research

To better understand how the Mekong River transports and disperses sediment-laden flow through its heavily-vegetated and multiple-channelized delta plain, and to establish the nature of sedimentation within the distributary channels of the Mekong Delta (including processes such as deposition, seabed erosion, and bank collapse), we propose two research cruises on the Mekong delta to conduct seismic profiling, coring, water sampling, and side scanning on the Song Hau channel in 2014 and 2015. After two surveys, samples and data analsis, we expect to get High-resolution water depth data and 3-D digital bathymetry maps of the Mekong delta distributary channels and nearshore environment; and get seasonal suspended matter data (surface, middle and bottom) and organic carbon distribution data along the different channels and nearshore; dynamic changes in the fluid mud’s thickness and location in the channels and nearshore areas;

Date: 07/01/12 - 12/31/15
Amount: $166,978.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Adopting the School-Community Collaboration Model and integrating geoscience and career education, the researchers, school teachers/counselors and parents collaboratively work together in a year-round program for 80 high school students in Wake County of North Carolina. In this program, students will learn about coastal landscapes, GIS skills, and geoscience careers. Meanwhile, they will discuss their interests, motivation, personal and career development in small groups. Parents will attend seminars and workshops in parenting, support for their children, and preparing for colleges.

Date: 09/01/11 - 8/31/15
Amount: $390,000.00
Funding Agencies: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Coastal inundation during hurricanes and storms pose a major threat to 75% of the U.S. population who live within 100 miles of the coastline in the coastal zone. With continued population growth and projected impact of climate change on hurricane intensity and frequency as well as sea level rise, coastal zones are faced with increasing risk of coastal inundation. This problem is most severe in Florida where hurricane frequency is the highest in the U.S. and sea level rise is expected to inundate most of Miami and many coastal highways. Coastal inundation risk is also high in North Carolina where hurricanes are much more frequent than South Carolina and Georgia. Mitigation of the increasing coastal inundation risk is of primary concern to many entities including coastal communities, planning agencies, military facilities, water management districts, utility industries, state and county emergency management departments, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, federal and state Departments of Transportation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For mitigation of coastal inundation risks, coastal inundation maps have been used by various entities: MOM (Maximum of Maximum), which is the maximum inundation level in a coastal zone produced by a storm surge model (e.g., SLOSH) for an ensemble of hurricanes, and FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map), which includes the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for hurricanes with a 1% annual chance of occurrence, also produced by storm surge model and wave model for an ensemble of hurricanes. Both MOM and FIRM are widely used for the preparation, mitigation, planning, and response of hurricane and inundation hazards, however these maps do not include any effect of climate change on hurricanes and sea level rise. The goal of this project is to develop the next generation coastal inundation maps for use in the 21st century, by incorporating the projected impact of climate change on hurricanes and sea level rise. These climate-enhanced coastal inundation maps will be presented and articulated to the end users for their comments and feedbacks, which will be the basis for further improvement of the coastal inundation maps. The next generation coastal inundation maps will have much less uncertainty than the current ones and hence greatly improve the ability of coastal communities and other stakeholders to mitigate future risk of coastal inundation.

Date: 01/01/12 - 7/31/13
Amount: $75,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Navy - Naval Oceanographic Office

Rivers play a major role in delivering of a huge amount of terrestrial materials to the sea. Recent data show historically the worldwide rivers discharge annually about 36000 km3 of freshwater and 19 million tons (Mt) of solids sediments to the global ocean. Asian rivers, particularly those Himalaya-Tibetan rivers, such as the Yellow, Yangtze, Pearl, Red, and Mekong Rivers, contribute about 70% of the global river sediment fluxes, up to 13 Mt/yr. At the same time, eastern Asia are also featured and dominated by many shallow, broad and gentle marginal seas and shelves, which have also been strongly impacted by the periodical sea-level variations. Patterns of sediment transport, remobilization and accumulation on the shelf will strongly affect the geological and geo-acoustic character of the sea floor, as well as serving as proxies of the long-term oceanographic environment. Over the last decade, we have progressively studied from the northern Yellow Sea (influenced by the Yellow River) to the East China Sea (influenced by the Yangtze River) southward to Taiwan (and the influence of typhoons on small mountainous rivers), and into the South China (influenced principally by the Pearl, Red and Mekong rivers). We have studied and documented the shallow marine geology, oceanographic forcing, and late Quaternary history of the southeast Asian continental margin, with particular emphasis on the fate of sediments derived from large and small rivers, coupled in many instances with the sedimentary history related to post-glacial sea-level change. This proposed project will enable us to continue to study on the fate of riverine sediment in the western South China Sea, particularly the Red River system in the Gulf of Tokin, and furthermore to complete a comprehensive review of the other Asian river systems with up-to-date seafloor sediment distribution and isopach maps.

Date: 09/01/06 - 8/31/12
Amount: $877,211.00
Funding Agencies: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The key direction for NOAA research for the next five years is to provide the data needed to study the Earth System and to enable advanced forecast and assessment models, by developing advanced Earth observing system to address specific concerns, such as hurricanes, drought, tornadoes, and ecosystem degradation. The proposed ISET center at NCA&T is designed and aligned to this important mission. The center addresses several NOAA's mission goals: Understanding of climate variability and change to enhance society's ability to plan and ecosystems weather and water that support each other. The center is organized in five interrelated and united research themes and involves a wide and diverse range of scientists, engineers and educators from North Carolina A&T State University, and six other minority-serving institutions, two major institutions and industrial partners. The research themes have potential for making a significant impact on NOAA's "Scientific Environmental Technology." The themes support and complement each other to provide answers to the capstone issue of the century: Climate change. At the forefront of NOAA's effort to meet US and global demand for environmental/ecological modeling and forecasting is the need to continue to develop more sophisticated integrated observations systems on multiple scales ranging from urban, to regional, to national, and to global scales The research topics in the center address this need and others which include (1) Basic fundamental studies on physical, chemical and biological processes in the atmosphere, and space, and sensor science (2) Sensors technology and development for oceanographic and atmospheric applications, (3) Analysis of global observing systems that includes numerical and physical research, GIS and analysis of hurricanes, (4) Information technology tools for data fusion mining and analysis. The program will involve development of underrepresented minorities (students) and faculty in NOAA core science areas to enhance NOAA's ability to conduct its mission. The center will provide unique and comprehensive opportunities for students to conduct degree research in specific areas across disciplines to produce optimal research outcomes. Collaborative faculty and student research opportunities at NOAA labs will be conducted. Thesis, dissertation or undergraduate capstone experience projects consisting of cross-cutting research, emphasizing one or more research themes, with topics spanning from mitigation of climate variability, to basic science, sensor science in GHG, aerosols, sensor technology development, information technology in data mining, fusion and analysis will be developed. Other project areas of interest will emerge during the course of this project. Finally the center has the optimal mix of ethnic and geographic distributions and links to very prominent major institutions. The lead institution NCA&T is a research-intensive interdisciplinary university and is the nations leading producer of African American scientists and engineers.

Date: 06/01/11 - 12/31/11
Amount: $15,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Navy-Office Of Naval Research

To better understand the Vietnamese rivers derived sediment deposit and transportation along the shelf in the western South China Sea, we plan to visit our Vietnamese colleagues and re-analyze our cruise data, prepare some manuscripts and discuss the future field plans. The project and budget is mainly to cover our summer salaries and travel expenses.

Date: 09/11/09 - 6/30/11
Amount: $80,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Navy - Naval Oceanographic Office

Over the past 12 years, the North Carolina State University (NCSU), Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, has studied and documented the shallow marine geology, oceanographic forcing, and late Quaternary history of the southeast Asian continental margin. These studies have particular emphasis on the fate of sediments derived from large and small rivers, coupled in many instances with the sedimentary history related to post-glacial sea-level change. Patterns of sediment transport, remobilization and accumulation affect the geological, geotechnical and geo-acoustic character of the sea floor, as well as serving as proxies of the long-term oceanographic environment. Additionally , these studies have focused on sediments deposited from rivers, effects of past sea-level change, patterns of sediment transport, dynamics of sediment remobilization and accumulation, distribution (vertical and horizontal) of sediment types, correlation of core and stratigraphy and assessment of potential geohazards. In the course of these studies, NCSU has progressively moved from the northern Yellow Sea (influenced by the Yellow River) to the East China Sea (influenced by the Yangtze River) southward to Taiwan (and the influence of typhoons on small mountainous rivers), and the past few years into the South China (influenced principally by the Pearl River). NCSU now proposes to continue this type of study to map the morphology, shallow structure and surficial sediments of the Gulf of Tonkin (GOT), which are influenced by the Red River draining northern Vietnam, a counterclockwise current, and an active fault system along the western side of the Gulf. As conceived, this study will be a cooperative effort with Vietnamese and Chinese colleagues as well as German colleagues and WHOI scientists. This study will provide a crucial link between the upper continental margin, from the Yellow Sea in northern China to the Mekong Delta and Gulf of Thailand in southwestern Indochina.

Date: 08/01/07 - 7/31/10
Amount: $112,694.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

This will be a subcontract award for a full proposal submitted by the University of Missouri-Columbia to the NSF "PIRE" program (Partnership for International Research and Education) to foster collaborative projects with colleagues in China. The scientific focus of this proposal is to understand the nature of the series of devastating intraplate earthquakes in North China, and learn also from a comparative study with the New Madrid zone here in SE Missouri. One of the research objectives is to investigate the marine (the Bohai Sea) extension of seismically active faults and the recurrence interval of large earthquakes on a large-scale fault segments- the Tanlu fault zone. The scientific focus of this proposal is to understand the nature of the series of devastating intraplate earthquakes in North China, and learn also from a comparative study with the New Madrid zone here in SE Missouri. One of the research objectives is to investigate the marine (the Bohai Sea) extension of seismically active faults and the recurrence interval of large earthquakes on a large-scale fault segments- the Tanlu fault zone. Co-PI Marie-Helene Cormier (UMC) and a graduate student will collaborate with Paul Liu (NCSU), and his graduate student to image shallow fault structures in the Bohai Bay using both a chirp sonar and a portable multibeam bathymetric sonar. Furthermore, 2 to 5 meter-long gravity cores will be collected for detailed stratigraphical analysis and radiocarbon dating of the seismite horizons.


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