Tjalling de Haas
The 2023 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists is awarded to Tjalling de Haas in recognition of their fundamental contributions to advancing the understanding of landslide-tsunami interactions and of mass flows more broadly on Earth and Mars, using a suite of innovative approaches.
Tjalling de Haas has rapidly established themselves as an emerging leader in process-based geomorphology science through their innovative and impactful research that has advanced the understanding of mass flows. de Haas has a suite of unique research lines that combine a multi-modal approach that incorporates fieldwork, analogue experiments, modelling, and remote sensing. The advances made have linked understanding of the dynamics and morphology of debris flows to their depositional fans through to deciphering the formative processes of Martian gullies in order to reconstruct the climatic conditions during their formation.
de Haas has led the methodological developments that have resulted in novel and innovative small-scale debris-flow flumes that produce realistic flow dynamics and morphologies. These agenda setting experiments have revealed new substantive knowledge on the effects of material composition on flow dynamics and morphology, landslide-tsunami interactions, and the seismic signature of debris flows. This work has opened up new innovative experimentation with debris flows across a large research community with smaller labs, as evidenced by replica flumes being constructed elsewhere around the world based on their work and approach to open science.
Combining field and lab data, de Haas has been a pioneer in unravelling avulsion mechanisms on debris-flow fans, elucidating the factors controlling observed erosion and deposition. They were the first to show how the surfaces of Martian gullies are modified by post-depositional processes, exposing numerous misinterpretations in the past. Recently they managed to physically create mass flows supported by CO2-ice sublimation under low Martian pressure by operating a flume in a vacuum chamber simulating the Martian atmosphere. This ground-breaking work explains present-day gully activity and will have far-reaching implications for the interpretation of planetary landforms in the solar system previously attributed to liquids. de Haas sets an example for the modern generation of scientists, combining excellent research, wide ranging contributions to the scientific community, along with excellent wider science communication. They are a very worthy recipient of this award.
Medal lecture video (Vimeo) of the Arne Richter Awards for Outstanding Early Career Scientists given at the EGU General Assembly 2023.