Mapping Armaggedon: Earth's looming tsunamis and mega-quakes

phys.org | 4/10/2019 | Staff
melanie7 (Posted by) Level 3
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As villagers along the Sunda Strait were finishing their meals on the evening of 22 December last year, they had no idea of the cataclysmic event that awaited them.

After bubbling on and off for months, the active volcano of Anak Krakatoa erupted, triggering a 0.3-kilometre-cubed sized chunk of rock to plunge into the unusually deep waters off the coast of Indonesia's west Java and South Sumatra regions.

Tsunami - Coast - Minutes - Landslide - People

The resulting tsunami, which hit the coast just minutes after the landslide, killed 437 people and injured 30,000 more.

The killer wave was the most recent of a geological phenomenon that has led to around a quarter of a million deaths in the last two decades alone.

And it won't be the last.

According to David Tappin, a marine geologist at the British Geological Society who has spent years examining the causes of tsunamis, there are at least 40 active volcanoes next to oceans around the world that "could be potential Anak Krakatoas".

Aspects - Events - Anak - Krakatoa - Hazard

"One of the aspects of events such as Anak Krakatoa is that we are now aware of a hazard hovering in the background and there are millions of people who live adjacent to volcanoes," he told AFP on the sidelines of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna this week.

"But I don't think anyone has actually looked at the particular hazard those people have except from eruptions. Suddenly, we are aware of this (threat of tsunamis) and hopefully we will do something about it."

'Volcanoes - Understood

'Volcanoes still little understood'

Tappin and his team have for the first time modelled in minute detail what happens when a volcanic landslide triggers a tsunami.

Rock - Anak - Krakatoa - Trough - Depth

When the rock slipped from Anak Krakatoa, it fell into a submarine trough of unusual depth, around 220 metres (720 feet). This triggered multiple, large waves that hit coastlines quickly, with the second or third waves the highest.

Tappin said...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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