Eli Schwat

Graduate Research Assistant, Civil and Environmental Engineering

I am a member of the Prediction of and Resilience against Extreme Events (PREEVENTS) research group at University of Washington.

I am co-advised by Erkan Istanbulluoglu and Alex Horner-Devine. I completed my undergraduate degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt University. As an undergraduate, I researched subsurface fluid flow and chemical erosion on soil-covered hillslopes. I enjoy learning about the intersection of fluid dynamics and geology and creating toy models in Python.

My current research is focused on using historical aerial imagery to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of the land surface in the Pacific Northwest. We are using these models to identify and measure sediment transported by landslides, debris flows, and stream channel changes. These sediment transport events can be hazardous on their own, but they also contribute sediment to rivers, cause stream bed aggradation, and exacerbate flood risk. Some questions we hope to answer: How much sediment is contributed to river systems by landslides and debris flows? Are upland/pro-glacial sediment sources contributing significant sediment to river systems or do lowland sediment sources contribute more? Will a changing climate increase sediment yields?