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: Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Could the Milky Way become a quasar?

Feb 27, 2015

A quasar is what you get when a supermassive black hole is actively feeding on material at the core of a galaxy. The region around the black hole gets really hot and blasts out radiation that we can see billions ...

Galactic dinosaurs not extinct

Feb 27, 2015

One of the biggest mysteries in galaxy evolution is the fate of the compact massive galaxies that roamed the early Universe.

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.