Study may lead to better tsunami forecasts

Dec 07, 2005

Better tsunami forecasting may result from a seafloor inspection near the epicenter of the earthquake that caused last year's Indian Ocean tsunami.

The first research expedition to directly observe the seafloor area involved an international team of 27 scientists, led by Kate Moran of the University of Rhode Island and David Tappin of the British Geological Survey.

The scientists spent 17 days at sea last May exploring the seafloor off the coast of Sumatra. The team reported discovering far fewer underwater landslides and generally less widespread disturbance of the seafloor than they would have been expected, given the size of the earthquake.

"That might mean that we're safer than we realize, because the material in that environment might be dissipating the seismic energy more than we thought," Moran said.

The expedition's findings were reported this week, during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Primary funding for the research expedition was provided by the BBC and the Discovery Channel. A documentary about the expedition will air on both channels Dec. 18.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Space sex geckos at risk as Russia loses control of satellite

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

1 hour ago

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

1 hour ago

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

Biomarkers of the deep

3 hours ago

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Spain is a unique geological site that has fascinated astrobiologists for decades. The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) in Spain's Río Tinto area is the largest known deposit ...

Image: Chandra's view of the Tycho Supernova remnant

4 hours ago

More than four centuries after Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe first observed the supernova that bears his name, the supernova remnant it created is now a bright source of X-rays. The supersonic expansion of ...

User comments : 0