Giant 8,000-year-old tsunami is studied

November 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.

The collapse of the volcano, located on Italy's island of Sicily, was studied by Maria Teresa Pareschi and colleagues at Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. They modeled the collapse and discovered the volume of landslide material, combined with the force of the debris avalanche, would have generated a catastrophic tsunami, impacting the entire Eastern Mediterranean.

Simulations show the resulting tsunami waves would have destabilized soft marine sediments across the floor of the Ionian Sea. The authors, noting field evidence for such destabilization can be seen in other studies, speculate such a tsunami might also have caused the abandonment of a Neolithic village in Israel.

The study -- entitled "The Lost Tsunami" -- appears in the current issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: The world's five deadliest volcanoes—and why they're so dangerous

Related Stories

Signs of ancient megatsunami could portend modern hazard

October 2, 2015

Scientists working off west Africa in the Cape Verde Islands have found evidence that the sudden collapse of a volcano there tens of thousands of years ago generated an ocean tsunami that dwarfed anything ever seen by humans. ...

Acoustic waves warn of tsunami

August 29, 2013

An early warning system against tsunamis has been developed and tailored for the need of the Mediterranean, but preparedness on the ground is paramount to ensuring peoples' safety.

Undersea volcano threatens southern Italy: report

March 29, 2010

Europe's largest undersea volcano could disintegrate and unleash a tsunami that would engulf southern Italy "at any time", a prominent vulcanologist warned in an interview published Monday.

Recommended for you

The birth and death of a tectonic plate

May 24, 2017

Several hundred miles off the Pacific Northwest coast, a small tectonic plate called the Juan de Fuca is slowly sliding under the North American continent. This subduction has created a collision zone with the potential to ...

Sub-zero waters a barrier to oil spill recovery

May 24, 2017

Sub-zero temperatures in the deep waters of the North Atlantic would significantly hamper the ability of oil-eating bacteria to help the ocean recover from a major oil spill, according to new research.

0 comments

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.