Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Australian tsunami database reveals threat to continent

Date:
May 1, 2014
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Australia's coastline has been struck by up to 145 possible tsunamis since prehistoric times, triple the previously estimated number, a new study reveals. The largest recorded inundation event in Australia was caused by an earthquake off Java in 2006. The continent was also the site of the oldest known tsunami in the world -- an asteroid impact 3.47 billion years ago. Details of the 145 modern day and prehistoric events are outlined in a revised tsunami database.

Australia's coastline has been struck by up to 145 possible tsunamis since prehistoric times, causing deaths previously unreported in the scientific literature, a UNSW study has revealed.

Related Articles


The largest recorded inundation event in Australia was caused by an earthquake off Java in Indonesia on 17 July 2006, which led to a tsunami that reached up to 7.9 metres above sea level on land at Steep Point in Western Australia.

The continent was also the site of the oldest known tsunami in the world -- an asteroid impact that occurred 3.47 billion years ago in what is now the Pilbara district of Western Australia.

Details of the 145 modern day and prehistoric events are outlined in a revised Australian tsunami database, which has been extensively updated by UNSW researchers, Professor James Goff and Dr Catherine Chaguι-Goff.

"Our research has led to an almost three-fold increase in the number of events identified -- up from 55 in 2007. NSW has the highest number of tsunamis in the database, with 57, followed by Tasmania with 40, Queensland with 26 and Western Australia with 23," says Professor Goff, of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

"Historical documents indicate that up to 11 possible tsunami-related deaths have occurred in Australia since 1883. This is remarkable, because our tsunami-prone neighbour, New Zealand, has only one recorded death."

Professor Goff and Dr Chaguι-Goff, who also works at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, scoured scientific papers, newspaper reports, historical records and other tsunami databases to update the 2007 Australian database.

"And it is still incomplete. Much more work needs to be done, especially to identify prehistoric events and those on the east coast. Our goal is to better understand the tsunami hazard to Australia and the region. The geographical spread of events and deaths suggests the east coast faces the most significant risk," says Professor Goff.

The results are published in the journal Progress in Physical Geography.

The country's largest tsunami had been listed in 2007 as one that hit Western Australia following an earthquake off Sumba Island in Indonesia on 19 August 1977, but this rating was based on wrong information about its wave height.

Giant wave heights of about 13 metres -- bigger than those of the current record-holding event in 2006 -- have also been attributed to a possible tsunami on 8 April 1911 in Warrnambool in Victoria, but no hard evidence is available as yet to back this up.

The study identified three prehistoric events that had an impact across the whole of the South West Pacific Ocean: an asteroid impact 2.5 million years ago and large earthquakes about 2900 years ago and in the mid-15th Century.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Goff, C. Chague-Goff. The Australian Tsunami Database: A review. Progress in Physical Geography, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/0309133314522282

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Australian tsunami database reveals threat to continent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101127.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2014, May 1). Australian tsunami database reveals threat to continent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101127.htm
University of New South Wales. "Australian tsunami database reveals threat to continent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101127.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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