He has spent considerable time on drilling boats and submersibles doing measurements of the ocean floor, and this eagerness to collect data has been essential to enabling some of his research.
Several years before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, which triggered a tsunami with devastating effects on the northern parts of Japan, Tsuji travelled on the submersible Shinkai 6500 as part of an expedition to deploy seafloor observatories and explore the fault that would later be attributed to the tsunami.
He again visited the site after the disaster, and comparison of images and data from the same areas before and after the earthquake provided invaluable data for understanding how the tsunami occurred.
Back on land, communication with locals about changes in the flow of hot springs after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake in southern Japan led Tsuji to find that a block of land nearly 2-km wide and 50-m deep had slid as a result of the earthquake.
Locals were relieved to know the source of the hot springs, which are a key part of the area’s economy, were unaffected, and Tsuji was able to document this unique land movement.
“I think that one of the keys to my research is being able to collect, work with, and combine a broad range of different kinds of data to gain a more complete picture of what is happening,” says Tsuji.