Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Canary Islands Landslides And Mega-Tsunamis: Should We Really Be Frightened?

Date:
August 19, 2004
Source:
University Of Southampton
Summary:
What is the reality behind stories of mega-tsunamis wiping out the American east coast and southern England? Very little, according to Dr Russell Wynn and Dr Doug Masson from Southampton Oceanography Centre, who have been studying Canary Islands landslides for many years.

What is the reality behind stories of mega-tsunamis wiping out the American east coast and southern England? Very little, according to Dr Russell Wynn and Dr Doug Masson from Southampton Oceanography Centre, who have been studying Canary Islands landslides for many years. Their research has shown that stories of a devastating 'mega-tsunami' some 300 feet high and travelling at 500 mph are greatly exaggerated, and that reports suggesting tens of millions of people could be killed have little basis in reality.

Dr Russell Wynn said, "The Canary Islands are volcanic islands that collapse at regular intervals in geological time. However, it is important to remember that in the last 200,000 years there have only been two major landslides on the flanks of the Canary Islands. At SOC we have studied previous Canary Islands landslides to understand how they move, and have found good evidence to show that the landslides actually break up and fall into the sea in several stages."

"By analogy, if you drop a brick into a bath you get a big splash, but if you break that brick up into several pieces and drop them in one by one, you get several small splashes. Therefore a multi-stage failure would certainly not generate tsunamis capable of damaging the coastlines of southern England or the American east coast, although they may have an impact on nearby Canary Islands."

Dr Wynn added, "The mega-tsunami scenario currently being aired in the media is a hypothetical 'worst case', and is largely based upon speculative computer models of landslide motion and tsunami generation. In contrast, our work involves study of actual landslide deposits."

In October 2004 Dr Wynn and Dr Masson will lead a new UK research cruise to the deep ocean offshore of the Canary Islands. The aim is to look in more detail at the deposits of previous Canary Islands landslides in an attempt to better understand how they move, and whether they are capable of generating tsunamis. Dr Wynn concludes, "Only by assembling all the facts and working together can we as scientists provide the public with the best information on these spectacular, but rather infrequent, natural hazards." Dr Russell Wynn and Dr Doug Masson's research has been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the European Union.

###

Southampton Oceanography Centre is a joint venture between the University of Southampton and the Natural Environment Research Council. It is a centre of excellence in marine sciences, earth sciences and marine technology (http://www.soc.soton.ac.uk).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Southampton. "Canary Islands Landslides And Mega-Tsunamis: Should We Really Be Frightened?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234801.htm>.
University Of Southampton. (2004, August 19). Canary Islands Landslides And Mega-Tsunamis: Should We Really Be Frightened?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234801.htm
University Of Southampton. "Canary Islands Landslides And Mega-Tsunamis: Should We Really Be Frightened?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234801.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins