School of Earth and Environment

Iain Johnston Iain Johnston

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: 101b

Affiliation: Institute of Applied Geoscience


  • 2016 - 2017 – MSc Engineering Geology, The University of Leeds
    Dissertation title: An analysis of global landfill and dumpsite slope failure trends

  • 2013 - 2016: BSc Applied Geology, Plymouth University
    Dissertation title: The Geology of Tryfan, Wales, and Surrounding Areas

Research Interests

  • My main research interests are focused on the causes of and hazards posed by landslides - with a focus on infrastructure failures.

Project details

Project title

The role of flooding on the activation of landslides on UK rail infrastructure



Jointly funded by the Leeds York NERC DTP and Network Rail in a CASE partnership.

Start date

1 October 2017

Project outline

The inter-relationships between storm events, flooding, and slope instability will be investigated during this project using a combination of field observations, archive data and numerical models to 1) understand the ground conditions and hydrogeology at test sites chosen in conjunction with Network Rail; 2) reconstruct flood evolution and overland flow based on field observations of geomorphology and archive aerial photography; 3) model progressive failure of the slope systems using models; 4) Identify critical and identifiable physical parameters for a predictive tool to be tested against sites to be held back by Network Rail. We will use the understanding of the flood-erosion-pore pressure interactions to develop a risk based indexing system to rank which elements of infrastructure risk posed by landsliding during different design flood events. Asset owners will then be empowered to prioritise the adoption of strategies that will improve the resilience of critical elements of infrastructure in response to evolving flood risk in a changing climate.