Tsunami waves reasonably likely to strike Israel

Oct 26, 2009

"There is a likely chance of tsunami waves reaching the shores of Israel," says Dr. Beverly Goodman of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa following encompassing geoarchaeological research at the port of Caesarea. "Tsunami events in the Mediterranean do occur less frequently than in the Pacific Ocean, but our findings reveal a moderate rate of recurrence," she says.

Dr. Goodman, an expert geo-archaeologist, exposed geological evidence of this by chance. Her original intentions in Caesarea were to assist in research at the ancient port and at offshore shipwrecks. "We expected to find the remains of ships, but were surprised to reveal unusual geological layers the likes of which we had never seen in the region before. We began underwater drilling assuming that these are simply local layers related to the construction of the port. However, we discovered that they are spread along the entire area and realized that we had found something major," she explains.

Geological drilling - in areas of 1-3 meters in length and at various depths - enabled Dr. Goodman to date the underwater layers using two methods: carbon-14 dating and OSL (optically stimulated luminescence). She found evidence of four events at Caesarea: in 1500 BC, 100-200 CE, 500-600 CE, and 1100-1200 CE.

In an article published in Geological Society of America Bulletin, Dr. Goodman explains that the earliest of these tsunamis resulted from the eruption of the Santorini volcano, which affected the entire . The later, more local tsunami waves, Dr. Goodman assumes, were generated by underwater landslides caused by earthquakes. "'Local' does not necessarily imply 'small'. These could have been waves reaching 5 meters high and as far as 2 km onshore. Coastal communities within this range would have undoubtedly been severely damaged from such a tsunami.

While communities onshore clear the ground after such an event and return to civilization, tsunami evidence is preserved under the water," she explains.

Source: University of Haifa (news : web)

Explore further: Severe ozone depletion avoided

Related Stories

Giant 8,000-year-old tsunami is studied

Nov 28, 2006

Italian scientists say geological evidence suggests a giant tsunami resulted from the collapse of the eastern flanks of Mount Etna nearly 8,000 years ago.

Tsunami created swells worldwide

Aug 27, 2005

Last year's Indian Ocean tsunami was so powerful it circled the globe twice and high waves were recorded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Peru, an analysis shows.

East Coast tsunamis maps to be created

Nov 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.

Discovered: world's largest tsunami debris

Sep 25, 2008

A line of massive boulders on the western shore of Tonga may be evidence of the most powerful volcano-triggered tsunami found to date. Up to 9 meters (30 feet) high and weighing up to 1.6 million kilograms ...

Tsunami not yet detected: expert

Apr 02, 2007

Although the Bureau of Metereology had issued a tsunami warning, at this stage a tsunami had not yet been detected, a University of Queensland geophysicist said this morning.

Recommended for you

Severe ozone depletion avoided

14 hours ago

We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

Location matters in the lowland Amazon

May 25, 2015

You know the old saying: Location, location, location? It turns out that it applies to the Amazon rainforest, too. New work from Carnegie's Greg Asner illustrates a hidden tapestry of chemical variation across ...

Quake rattles nerves in Napa Valley after 2014 disaster

May 22, 2015

A magnitude-4.1 earthquake has jolted Napa Valley and became an unwelcome reminder of the wine country's large temblor last summer—the strongest quake to hit Northern California in a quarter-century.

User comments : 0

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.