Jas­per Moer­naut

Research interests

  • Sedimentary records of natural hazards
  • Paleoseismology
  • Lacustrine and marine geology
  • Subaquatic landslides and turbidites
  • Marine geophysics and geotechnics

Research projects

Principal Investigator

  • "QuakeScene Chile": Evaluating megathrust earthquake scenarios in South Central Chile using new strategies in lacustrine paleoseismology (FWF, Austria, 2022-2026). More info
  • "Tiefer Sehen": Tyrolean lakes as geological archives. Science Communication Project (FWF, Austria, 2021-2022) More Info
  • Altausseer See 3D: A limnogeological analysis of Lake Altaussee (collaboration with BOKU; Walter Munck Foundation for the Oceans). More Info
  • "Tyrol on Shaky Slopes": Did strong earthquakes trigger the rockslide clusters in Tyrol (Austria)? Evidence from lacustrine sedimentary records (Tiroler Wissenschaftsförderung TWF, 2018-2020) More info
  • Quantitative lacustrine paleoseismology in Carinthia (Austria) (FWF, Austria, 2017-2021) More info
  • "Process understanding in subaquatic paleoseismology: Earthquake-triggered remobilization of surficial sediments at ocean margins and lacustrine basins" (Nachwuchsförderung – University of Innsbruck, 2016-2018). More info
  • “Spatio-temporal patterns of earthquake recurrence in South-Central Chile: quantitative analysis of lacustrine paleoseismic records” (FONDECYT, Chile, 2015)
  • Tsunami deposits in coastal lakes in South-Central Chile (Ghent University, Belgium, 2011-2014)
  • PhD and Postdoc fellowship (FWO and IWT Flanders, 2006-2011)

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Post-Doc Project Walter Menapace: Mud volcanism and turbidites occurrence as joint tools to identify paleoearthquakes in the Gulf of Cadiz and adjacent abyssal plains (FWF Lise-Meitner grant, 2021-2023)
  • Post-Doc Project Yin Lu:  Developing a 220 kyr-long continuous earthquake record in the Dead Sea Basin (FWF Lise-Meitner grant, 2020-2022). More info
  • IODP Proposal 866 (funded): Expedition 386 Japan Trench Paleoseismology
  • Studying the significance of subaqueous slides in Austrian lakes (ÖAW, 2019-2020)
  • Recurrence of great earthquakes and tsunamis in Central Chile (FONDECYT, Chile, 2015-2018)
  • Lacustrine paleoseismology in Alaska (FWO Flanders, Belgium, 2012-2017)
  • Geotechnical characterization of subaquatic slope stability (MARUM, Germany, 2013)


  • ICDP LIBRE Project - Lake Izabal Basin Research Endeavor
  • GEO-STATE Tyrol:  Groundbreaking Evidence of Postglacial Seismotectonic Activity in the Achen Valley, Tyrol? (Tiroler Wissenschaftsförderung, 2020-2022).More info
  • SLATE - Submarine Landslides and their impact on European continental margins (ITN: Marie-Skłodowska-Curie program, European Commission, 2017-2021). More info
  • Core-XCT: X-ray Computed Tomography as new tool in Earth Science for non-destructive core analyses (Nachwuchsförderung – University of Innsbruck, 2018-2019)
  • ARMONIA: Harmonising administration and public institutions for trans-frontier risk prevention and disaster management. (Interreg V-A, 2018-2021) 
  • Earthquake archive in the geological record of the Japan Trench (FWF, Austria, 2016-2020) 
  • Lacustrine paleoseismology in Switzerland (SNSF, Switzerland, 2011-2015)
  • Lacustrine paleoclimate records in Chile (FWO Flanders, Belgium, 2008-2012)
  • Tephrostratigraphy in South-Central Chile (University of Oxford, UK, 2013-2016)
  • Paleoclimate record of lake Challa, East Africa (ESF, Ghent University, 2007-2011) 


  • Geophysics (BSc)
  • Applied Geophysics (MSc)
  • Analytical Lab Methods (BSc)
  • Engineering Geology: Introduction to Natural Hazards (BSc)
  • Supervisor for Earth Science Practicum (BSc)
  • Limnogeology (MSc)
  • Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions (MSc)

    At previous positions (UACh, ETHZ):
  • Geophysics (BSc)
  • Seismology (BSc)
  • Limnogeology (BSc)
  • collaborations in Marine Geology (MSc), Geomorphology (BSc) and Applied Seismology (MSc)

Supervision / mentoring of 9 Ph.D, 12 M.Sc. and 14 B.Sc. students (some ongoing)

Training of students and guest researchers in geophysical data acquisition, processing and interpretation; sediment coring; geochemical, petrophysical and sedimentological logging and analyses; granulometry; standard geotechnical tests, etc. 

Organization of field courses in Limnogeology, Applied  Geophysics, Geomorphology.


Other scholarly activities 

  • Invited conference talks: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (AGU), online, 2020 // European Geosciences Union General Assembly (EGU), Vienna, Austria, 2013
  • Invited lectures: DGGV #Sedimentology.Lunch (online), 2021 // MARUM Research Seminar (University Bremen), 2020 // LMU Munich, International Colloquium in Geological Earth Surface Processes, 2019 // Geo-Colloquium, University of Innsbruck, 2017 // Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, 2014 // United States Geological Survey, Anchorage, USA, 2012 // Belgian National Committee of Geodesy and Geophysics, Ghent, Belgium, 2010
  • Reviewer for funding agencies and several journals including Nature Geoscience, Geology, Marine Geology, Geomorphology, Quaternary Science Reviews, Journal of Geophysical Research, G-Cubed, Geological Society of America Bulletin, Tectonophysics, Quaternary International.
  • Co-Convener at the International Sedimentology Congress 2014 (Geneva) “Sedimentology of extreme events”, EGU 2018/2019/2020/2021 (Vienna) ) “Limnogeology”, INQUA 2019 “Subduction Zone Paleoseismology”
  • Co-Editor GSL Spec. Pub. 500: Subaqueous Mass Movements and their Consequences
  • Participation at conferences: EGU, AGU, ISC, INQUA, IGC, ILIC, GEOSUR, AGU Chapman, ESF and national conferences
  • Public outreach: presentations at several events for the promotion of science in Belgium and in Chile; publications and comments in newspapers in Austria, Belgium and Chile. Documentary, public talks and interviews about earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in Chile. TV Interviews on Austrian lake projects.
  • Participation at workshops: ECORD Summer School on “Submarine Landslides, Earthquakes and Tsunamis”, Bremen, Germany, 2012; Submarine Paleoseismology Workshop: Using giant piston coring within IODP to fill the gap in long-term records of great earthquakes, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, 2015
  • Research stays: MARUM Bremen, 2012 (4 months): Geotechnical analysis of lake sediments. GFZ Potsdam, 2008 (3 weeks): Impregnation and microfacies analysis of lake sediments. MARUM Bremen and ETH Zürich (4 weeks): core scanning (XRF and MSCL)
  • Scientist board member in Research Centers (RC) / Doctoral Programs (DP): DP Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions (UIBK);  RC Geodynamics-Geomaterials (UIBK); RC Natural Risks (UACh); RC Quaternary Research (UACh)
  • Committee member in PhD/MSc commissions (5); 
  • Coordinator/instructor for the geophysical equipment (subbottom profiler, geo-electrics, GPR), grain-size lab (Mastersizer 3000) and varve lab at the UIBK
  • Research expeditions: Geophysical mapping/profiling and sediment coring on lakes in Chile (18), Alaska (5), Switzerland (4), Austria (10), Italy (2) and Turkey (1) for a total of 600 days in the field. Geophysical mapping on R/V Sonne offshore Japan (SO251; 2016); R/V Belgica on the Belgian Continental Shelf (2006); R/V Guaiqueri offshore Venezuela (2005)
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