Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Adam Douglas Switzer

Assistant Chair (Research), Asian School of the Environment
Nanyang Assistant Professor (NRF)


Asian School of the Environment
College of Science

Email: ASWITZER@NTU.EDU.SG
Phone: (+65)6592 1762
Office: N2-01c-44

Education
  • PhD University of Wollongong 2005
  • BSc (Hons) University of Wollongong 1999
Biography
Adam Switzer is a NRF Singapore Fellow who holds concurrent positions as Nanyang Assistant Professor at NTU and Principal Investigator at the Eath Observatory of Singapore (EOS). He is primarily a sedimentologist with interests in coastal geomorphology, palaeoenvironments and natural hazards. The overarching driver of his research is a desire to use geomorphological and sedimentological techniques to solve contemporary problems at local, regional and international scales. His main research interest lies in using coastal stratigraphy to define the recurrence interval of catastrophic marine inundation events (tsunami or large storms) and investigate the relationship between tectonics and climate change in coastal systems. After obtaining a BSc and PhD in Geosciences from the University of Wollongong, Australia he accepted an Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong fellowship to study at The University of Hong Kong where he held positions as Post-Doctoral Fellow and Centenary Research Assistant Professor.

Adam is an internationally recognized expert in tsunami and storm deposits and associated sedimentation. His most significant contributions to the field include the first study of modern storm deposits from the Australian southeast coast; the recognition that immature heavy mineral suites in coastal sandsheets may indicate tsunami deposition rather than storm deposition in coastal settings; the recognition of an erosional signature of large scale washover of coastal dunes using Ground Penetrating Radar; initial evaluation of the sedimentary processes associated with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the southeast coast of India and a definitive review and re-analysis of large boulder accumulations in coastal settings on the southeast Australian coast.

His research program is well suited to the new Earth Observatory of Singapore and its desire to become a leader in earth science research in Asia as it spans the disciplines of earthquake science and climatic science. His reserch roup has many projects focused in Asia and currently involves collaborations with people from 7 Asian nations. Globally, studies of the sedimentation and geomorphic affects of tsunami and storm surge have gained increasing popularity since the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Recent research by his group and others on overwash deposits from many coastlines in Asia show that looking at the recurrence interval of such events is inherently complex. Such work is logistically difficult, time consuming, labour intensive and costly. Singapore is one of few places in Asia where the resources are available to make this research possible within a reasonable.
Research Interests
Adam Switzers main research interest lies in using coastal stratigraphy to define the recurrence interval of catastrophic marine inundation events (tsunami or large storms).

His most significant contributions to the field include:
* the first study of modern storm deposits from the Australian southeast coast;
* the recognition that immature heavy mineral suites in coastal sandsheets may indicate tsunami deposition rather than storm deposition in coastal settings;
* the recognition of an erosional signature of large scale washover of coastal dunes using Ground Penetrating Radar;
* initial evaluation of the sedimentary processes associated with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the southeast coast of India
a definitive review and re-analysis of large boulder accumulations in coastal settings on the southeast Australian coast.
Research Grant
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2015-)
Current Projects
  • Geological Records of Coastal Hazards in Southeast Asia
  • Hazards - History and Science
  • Preparing Asian Mega Cities for Changing Climate and the Potential Increase in Extreme Sea Levels and Storm Surges
  • Preparing Asian Mega Cities for Changing Climate and the Potential Increase in Extreme Sea Levels and Storm Surges
Selected Publications
  • Li, Linlin; A. D. Switzer, C.-H. Chan, Y. Wang, R. Weiss, and Q. Qiu. (2016). How heterogeneous coseismic slip affects regional probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment: A case study in the South China Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, .
  • M Chen, E. A. Boyle, A. D. Switzer, C. Gouramanis. (2016). A century long sedimentary record of anthropogenic lead (Pb), Pb isotopes and other trace metals in Singapore. Environmental Pollution, 213, 446-459.
  • Mengli Chen, Nathalie F. Goodkin, Edward A. Boyle, Adam D. Switzer, Annette Bolton. (2016). Lead in the western South China Sea: evidence of atmospheric deposition and upwelling. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 4490-4499.
  • Gouramanis, Chris; Switzer, Adam D.; Polivka, Peter M.; Bristow, Charles S.; Jankaew, Kruawun; Dat, Pham T.; Pile, Jeremy; Rubin, Charles M.; Yingsin, Lee; Ildefonso, Sorvigenaleon R.; Jol, Harry M. (2015). Ground penetrating radar examination of thin tsunami beds - A case study from Phra Thong Island, Thailand. Sedimentary Geology , 329, 149-165.
  • Li, Linlin; Switzer, Adam D.; Wang, Yu; Weiss, Robert; Qiu, Qiang; Chan, Chung-Han; Tapponnier, Paul. (2015). What caused the mysterious eighteenth century tsunami that struck the southwest Taiwan coast?. Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 8498-8506.

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