Xilin Xia

‌‌Xilin Xia - x.xia@ncl.ac.uk


PhD Title:

Innovative Mathematical and High-Performance Modelling Technologies for Flow-Like Landslides


PhD Project Details:

Landslide is one of the most usual natural hazards threatening urban areas in the world.  Among different types of landslides, flow landslides featured by its high velocity and long running distance often result in catastrophic events which are recorded in many countries.  For example, in China, a debris flow happened in Zhouqu caused 1463 deaths in 2010.


Prediction of their run-out distance and velocity through mathematical modelling can notably reduce losses as it provides a means for defining hazardous area, estimating the intensity of the hazard (which serves as input in risk studies), and for working out the information for the identification and design of appropriate protective measures as well as more resilient urban planning.  Numerical modelling based on computational fluid dynamics can be a very powerful tool to make such predictions.


However, several issues are still yet to be addressed in existing numerical models.  Firstly, existing models are not robust and accurate enough to adapt highly complex real world topography which gives the driving force of flow-like landslides.  Secondly, existing models are not efficient enough to simulate flow-like landslides with high resolutions in large scales.


The aim of my PhD project is to address these issues and develop a robust, accurate and efficient numerical modelling tool to simulate flow-like landslides and therefore help to reduce the losses of flow-like landslides by facilitating better risk management and urban planning.


(Image 1 - Simulation of a flow-like landslide in Ningxia Province, China)



Professor Qiuhua Liang

Dr James Bathurst


Related Outputs:

X. Xia, Q. Liang, M. Pastor, W. Zou, Y. Zhuang, ‘Balancing the Source Terms in a SPH model for Solving the Shallow Water Equations’, Advances in Water Resources, 59 (2013) 25–38.


Q. Liang, X. Xia, Efficient urban flood simulation using a GPU accelerated SPH model, Environmental Earth Science, DOI: 10.1007/s12665-015-4753-4.


X. Xia, Q. Liang, A GPU-Accelerated SPH Model for the Shallow Water Equations, Environmental Modelling Software, 75 (2016) 28-43.


X. Xia, R. Huang, Q. Liang, B. Y, New Physically Based Simulation Framework for Analyzing the Risk of Flow-Like Landslides, International Journal of Geohazards and Environment, 1 (3) 94-100.


Q. Liang, J. Hou, X. Xia, Contradiction between the C-property and mass conservation in adaptive grid based shallow flow models: cause and solution, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, DOI: 10.1002/fld.4005.


Conference presentations:

A computationally efficient depth-averaged SPH model on GPUs, oral presentation in Computation Methods in Water Resources 2014, Stuttgart, Germany.


A depth-integrated model for flow like landslides on fixed Cartesian coordinate system, oral presentation in Advances in Numerical Modelling of Hydrodynamics 2015, Sheffield, UK.


New physically-based model for flow-like landslides, oral presentation in The 4th International Symposium on Mega Earthquake induced Geo-disasters and Long term effects 2015, Chengdu, China.


A depth-integrated SPH model for flow like landslides on fixed Cartesian coordinate system, oral presentation in IAHR (International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research) World Congress 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands.


Invited Seminars:

Modelling flow-like landslides, Hohai University, China, 06/2015.



Bachelor of Engineering, Civil Engineering, Wuhan University, China, 09/2006 – 06/2010

Master of Engineering, Road and Railway Engineering, Wuhan University, China, 09/2010 – 06/2012