UCL Grand Challenges


Tsunamis in Port Cities from Generation to Impact

Tsunamis in Port Cities from Generation to Impact is a collaboration between researchers in the Statistical Science and Earth Sciences

GC Small Grants Placeholder Image

1 August 2010


Grant: Grand Challenges Small Grants
Year awarded: 2010-11
Amount awarded: £5,000


  • Serge Guillas, Statistical Science
  • William McGuire, Earth Sciences
  • Simon Day, Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre

Tsunami behaviour in the deep waters of the open ocean is well understood. However, this is not the case in near shore waters, where tsunamis have caused massive loss of life and damage in coastal communities. 

Small Grant funding from the Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities Small Grant made it possible for Dr Serge Guillas (Statistical Science), Professor William McGuire (Earth Sciences) and Dr Simon Day (Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre) to organise a tsunami workshop at UCL. By bringing together different approaches, 'Tsunamis in Port Cities from Generation to Impact' resulted in improved models of tsunami behaviour and coastal city inundation. 

Outputs and Impacts

  • Members of the original collaboration have written academic papers, presented their results to the insurance industry in the City of London and are now involved in an international network studying tsunami hazard, with researchers from Japan, New Zealand, USA and Ireland.
  • The workshop also led to grant funding for Dr Guillas, who led a £2m NERC national consortium grant on "Probability, Uncertainty and Risk in the Environment".