Dr. Michael Z. Li

Research Scientist

Conduct research in marine geology, sedimentology, and sediment transport

Natural Resources Canada

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Michael Li is a marine geologist and sedimentologist at the Geological Survey of Canada - Atlantic (GSCA), Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Dr. Li is currently involved in research on wave and current processes, seabed erosion and sediment transport, and how these contribute to the nature and distribution of geohazards in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, Bay of Fundy, Scotian Shelf and Baffin Bay. His research interests have centered on three main areas: (1) wave, current and sediment transport processes in the bottom boundary layer; (2) nearbed hydrodynamics, seabed scouring, and mobility of bedforms as marine geohazards; and (3) regional hydrodynamics and sediment transport processes on continental shelves and in coastal environments through the development and application of physical and numerical models.

Research and/or project statements

- Lead scientist on investigations of oceanographic processes and seabed erosion and sediment transport as potential geohazards to oil and gas developments in the Beaufort Sea

- Project leader of a study investigating site-specific assessment of seabed stability, tidal current and sediment transport processes, and morphodynamics of large bedforms for safe and responsible development of tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy

- Led a study of seabed erosion and sediment transport during storms as well as the distribution, characteristics and mobility of bedforms on Grand Banks, to facilitate hydrocarbon developments and cross-shelf pipeline routing in the region

- Led a research component on the nearbed wave-current processes and sediment transport magnitude and frequency on the slope and upper-slope canyons of the eastern Canada margin contributing to the geoscience knowledge of geohazards and seabed constraints for safe and effective exploration and production of oil in deep-water offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

- Project leader of the Geoscience for East Coast Offshore Developments (GECOD) project that provided sound regional knowledge of surficial geology, geohazards, foundation conditions, and other geological impediments for the safe, cost-effective, and responsible development of east coast offshore resources.

Professional activities / interests

- Provide scientific leadership in developing and maintaining cutting-edge instrumentation and computer models for sediment dynamics research

- Served as vice chair and chair and is presently the past chair of the Marine Geoscience Division of the Geological Association of Canada

- Supervisor of a post-doctoral researcher and committee member for several graduate students at Dalhousie University and University of New Brunswick

Education and awards

B.Sc., Marine Geology, Ocean University of China, 1982

M.Sc. and Ph.D., Marine Geology, Oregon State University, 1990

Key publications

Amos, C. L., M. Z. Li, F. L. Chiocci, G. B. La Monica, S. Cappucci, E. H. King, and F. Corbani, 2003. Origin of shore-normal channels from the shoreface of Sable Island, Canada, J. Geophys. Res., 108(C3), doi:10.1029/2001JC001259.

Gilkinson, K., E.L.King, M.Z. Li, D. Roddick, E. Kenchington, G. Han, 2015. Processes of physical change to the sea bed and bivalve recruitment over a10-year period following experimental hydraulic clam dredging on Banquereau, Scotian Shelf. Continental Shelf Research, 92, 72-86.

Gregr, E.J., R. Gryba, M.Z. Li, V. Kostylev and C.G. Hannah, 2016. A benthic habitat template for Pacific Canada's continental shelf. Can. Tech. Rep. Hydrogr. Ocean Sci. 312: viii + 35 pp.

Hill, P.R., Barrie, J.V., Kung, R., Lintern, D.G., Mullan, S., Li, M.Z., Shaw, J., Stacey, C., and Todd, B.J. 2015. Geological and Geophysical Site Characterization for Marine Renewable Energy Development and Environmental Assessment; Canadian Standards Association, Express Document EXP03-2015.  

King, E.L., Li, M.Z., Wu, Y., Forest, A., Blasco, S., Harrison, P., Robertson, A., Melling, H., Dallimore, S.R., Paull, C.K., and Cameron, G.D.M., 2017. A belt of seabed erosion along the Beaufort Shelf-break governed by Holocene evolution of the Beaufort Shelf-break Jet: geological evidence, current measurements and initial oceanographic modelling: Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8198, doi: 10.4095/299691

Li, M.Z., 1994. Direct skin friction measurements and stress partitioning over movable sand ripples. J. Geophys. Res., 99: 791-799.

Li, M.Z., Wright, L.D. and Amos, C.L., 1996. Predicting ripple roughness and sand resuspension under combined flows in a shoreface environment. Marine Geology, 130: 139-161.

Li, M.Z., Amos, C.L. and Heffler, D.E., 1997. Boundary layer dynamics and sediment transport under storm and non-storm conditions on the Scotian shelf. Marine Geology, 141: 157-181.

Li, M.Z. and Amos, C.L., 1999. Sheet flow and large wave ripples under combined waves and current: Their field observation, model prediction and effects on boundary layer dynamics. Continental Shelf Research, 19: 637-663.

Li, M.Z. and Amos, C.L., 2001. SEDTRANS96: The Upgraded and Better Calibrated Sediment- Transport Model for Continental Shelves. Computers and Geosciences, 27: 619-645.

Li, M. Z. and King, E.L., 2007. Multibeam Bathymetric Investigations of the Morphology of Sand Ridges and Associated Bedforms and Their Relation to Storm Processes, Sable Island Bank, Scotian Shelf. Marine Geology, 243: 200–228.

Li, M.Z., Sherwood, C.R. and Hill, P.R. (Eds.), 2012. Sediments, Morphology and Sedimentary Processes on Continental Shelves. Special Publication 44 of the International Association of Sedimentologists, Wiley-Blackwell, 432 pp.

Li, M. Z., King, E.L. and Prescott, R.H., 2012. Seabed disturbance and bedform distribution and mobility on the storm-dominated Sable Island Bank, Scotian Shelf. In:

Li, M.Z., Sherwood, C.R. and Hill, P.R. (Eds.), Sediments, Morphology and Sedimentary Processes on Continental Shelves, Special Publication 44 of the International Association of Sedimentologists, Wiley-Blackwell, 432 pp.

Li, M.Z., Shaw, J., Todd, B.J., Kostylev, V.E., and Wu, Y., 2014. Sediment transport and development of banner banks and sandwaves in an extreme tidal system: upper Bay of Fundy, Canada. Continental Shelf Research, 83: 86-107.

Li, M. Z., Y. Wu, R. H. Prescott, C. C. L. Tang, and G. Han, 2015. A modeling study of the impact of major storms on waves, surface and near-bed currents on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120, 5358-5386, doi:10.1002/2015JC010755.

Li, M.Z., Schillinger, D.J., and Robertson, A., 2016. Nearbed Current and Suspended Sediment Concentration Recorded by a Seabed Lander Deployed in the Deep Water at Sackville Spur, Grand Banks; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8136, 13 p. doi: 10.4095/299384

Li, M. Z., C. G. Hannah, W. A. Perrie, C. C. L. Tang, R. H. Prescott and D. A. Greenberg, 2015. Modelling Seabed Shear Stress, Sediment Mobility and Sediment Transport in the Bay of Fundy. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52(9): 757-775, 10.1139/cjes-2014-0211.

Li, M. Z., Y. Wu, G. Han, R. H. Prescott, and C. C. L. Tang, 2017. A modelling study of the impact of major storms on seabed shear stress and sediment transport on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, 4183–4216, doi:10.1002/2016JC012215.

Li, M.Z., Prescott, R.H. and Robertson, A.G., 2017. Near-bed hydrodynamics and sediment transport processes at the head of Logan Canyon on the central Scotian Slope; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8174, 36 p. doi:10.4095/299794

Puig, P., Greenan, B.J.W., Li, M.Z., Prescott, R.H. and Piper, D. J.W., 2013. Sediment transport processes at the head of Halibut Canyon, Eastern Canada margin. Marine Geology, 341: 14-18.

Shaw, J., Todd, B.J., Li, M.Z., and Wu, Y., 2012. Anatomy of the tidal scour system at Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy. Marine Geology, 323–325: 123–134.

Shaw, J.,  Todd,  B.J., and Li, M.Z.,  2014. Geologic insights from multibeam bathymetry and seascape maps of the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Continental Shelf Research, 83: 53-63.

Shaw, J., Todd, B.J., Li, M.Z., Mosher, D.C., and Kostylev, V.E., 2014. Continental Shelves of Atlantic Canada. In: Chiocci, F. L. & Chivas, A. R. (eds) 2014. Continental Shelves of the World: Their Evolution During the Last Glacio-Eustatic Cycle. Geological Society London, Memoirs, 41, 7–19.

Todd, B.J., Shaw, J., Li, M.Z., Kostylev, V.E. and Wu, Y., 2014. Distribution of subtidal sedimentary bedforms in a macrotidal setting: the Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Canada. Continental Shelf Research, 83: 64-85.

Wu, Y., Tang, C., Li, M.Z., and Prescott, R., 2011. Modelling Extreme Storm-Induced Currents over the Grand Banks. Atmosphere-Ocean, 49: 259-268.

Affiliations

Geological Association of Canada

International Association of Sedimentologists

American Geophysical Union