UCL News


Press release: How UCL research could minimise the impact of future tsunami

3 July 2007

tsunami-generator ucl.ac.uk/media/library/Tsunami" target="_self">

For the first time, a team of experts is preparing to create tsunami in a controlled environment in order to study their effects on buildings and coastlines - ultimately paving the way for the design of new structures better able to withstand their impact.

Ahead of today's Coastal Structures 2007 International Conference, Dr Tiziana Rossetto (UCL Civil & Environmental Engineering) unveiled plans to develop an innovative new tsunami generator capable of creating scaled-down versions of the devastating waves. The UCL team will be working with marine-engineering specialists HR Wallingford (HRW) throughout the project.

"Tsunami are water waves generated by earthquakes, underwater landslides, volcanic eruptions or major debris slides," said Dr Rossetto. "The waves travel across oceans with small vertical displacements and in open water you could easily bob over one without noticing. It's when the waves approach the coastline, hit shallower water, slow down and grow taller that you get the huge wall of water that people visualise when you mention a tsunami."

To read the press release in full, use the link at the top of this article.

Image: Artist's impression of the tsunami generator