Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mathematicians Put Forward Model For Studying Submarine Avalanches And Tsunamis

Date:
October 20, 2008
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
A team of Andalucian and French scientists has put forward a mathematical model that enables submarine avalanches and certain types of tsunamis to be studied using equations, according to a recent article in the Journal of Computational Physics. Mathematicians are already applying the model to analyse landslides on the island of Alborón (Almería).

Scientists have put forward a mathematical model that enables submarine avalanches and certain types of tsunamis to be studied using equations.
Credit: Image courtesy of Plataforma SINC

A team of Andalucian and French scientists has put forward a mathematical model that enables submarine avalanches and certain types of tsunamis to be studied using equations, according to a recent article. Mathematicians are already applying the model to analyse landslides on the island of Alborón (Almería).

“The model we have developed can be used to predict tsunamis that form following the sudden fall of sediments near the coast”, Enrique D. Fernández Nieto explains, who is one of the authors of the study and is from the Department of Applied Mathematics from the University of Seville. Rock-fall can be favoured by the existence of an abrupt slope at the bottom of the rock-fall, by an accumulation of material, or by a strong surge that destabilises the layer of sediments and causes it to fall.

The study uses equations known as “Savage-Hutter equations” named after the two scientists who proposed these in order to study rock avalanches. “However, for the first time we are addressing the need to take into account the coupling between the two layers implicated in the processes of submarine avalanches: water and rocks”. This is how Fernández describes it and also considers that studying this two-layer coupling “is complicated, but fundamental to the total dynamic, because rock movements cause the water to move, and possibly the tides of water that can displace granular material”.

Like columns of water and sand

In order to derive the model, the mathematicians took into account the porosity of the sediments, the forces that interact in the process and the “Coulomb friction term”, which refers to the parameters of the equation that are opposed to the movement of the mass of rock when it falls.

In order to understand this concept, Fernández cites the example of a column of water in a container, the door of which is opened: the liquid spills out and is directed towards a horizontal, constant and still surface. However, when the same experiment is performed with a column of sand grains, the final state has the shape of a bell. The terms that produce this resulting slope, which is no longer horizontal, due to the friction between the particles, is what is referred to as the “Coulomb friction term”.

In addition to the internal friction angles and at the bottom, the mathematicians evaluate other parameters such as the flotability of the submerged material, the topography of the land, the initial direction of the water and its height. Once all these data have been obtained, the mathematicians introduce these into a computer programme and by using animations analyse and visualise the evolution of the submarine avalanches and tsunamis.

The researchers have established the effectiveness of their equations using data from a very well documented tsunami that occurred in Papua New Guinea in 1998. In partnership with geologists from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and by means of a joint project financed by the Junta de Andalucia, the researchers are studying the period during which certain landslides occurred in the past in the vicinity of the Island of Alborán (Almería), and are also evaluating the likelihood of their recurring in the future in the Alborán marine basin.

Scientists from the University of Seville, the University of Malaga, the Escuela Normal Superior in Paris, the University of Savoie, also in France, and from the Seismology Team from the Institute of Physics from the Globe of Paris have all participated in the study.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Fernandeznieto et al. A new Savage-Hutter type model for submarine avalanches and generated tsunami. Journal of Computational Physics, 2008; 227 (16): 7720 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcp.2008.04.039

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Mathematicians Put Forward Model For Studying Submarine Avalanches And Tsunamis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081016084059.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2008, October 20). Mathematicians Put Forward Model For Studying Submarine Avalanches And Tsunamis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081016084059.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Mathematicians Put Forward Model For Studying Submarine Avalanches And Tsunamis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081016084059.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) 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