East Coast tsunamis maps to be created

November 23, 2005

Two University of Rhode Island scientists have been awarded an $86,000 grant to create tsunami warning maps of the East Coast of the United States.

The maps -- funded a grant by FM Global, the world's largest commercial property insurer -- will identify potential flooding and damage that could occur if a tsunami struck the region.

Ocean engineering professors Stephan Grilli and Christopher Baxter of Cranston will study historical events and evaluate the risks and probabilities of a tsunami striking anywhere the East Coast, from the Carolinas to Maine.

Baxter and Grilli said tsunami hazard maps have been in existence for the West Coast and Hawaii for several years, but none have been made for the East Coast. They said that's partly because there is a lower risk for tsunamis in the Atlantic, but also because they're more complicated to predict in the Atlantic.

A tsunami in the Pacific Ocean would likely be caused by an underwater earthquake, Grilli said. Tsunamis in the Atlantic are more likely to be caused by underwater landslides near the continental shelf, and predicting how large a wave that would generate is very difficult.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Using Google Street View to assess the engineering impact of natural disasters

Related Stories

Secrets of the Halloween asteroid headed for Earth

October 28, 2015

Only a few weeks ago, on October 10, the survey telescope Pan-STARRS 1 discovered an asteroid – 2015 TB145 – that was classified as potentially hazardous. Because of its brightness, it is estimated to measure 320 metres ...

Calculating tsunami risk for the US East Coast

April 19, 2013

The greatest threat of a tsunami for the U.S. east coast from a nearby offshore earthquake stretches from the coast of New England to New Jersey, according to John Ebel of Boston College, who presented his findings today ...

Recommended for you

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.