Tsunamis are not very common natural disasters, but the fact that they can occur without warning makes it worth to try and find out what are the hazards associated with them. This paper will try to first define tsunamis, determine what are the hazards associated with them (especially in Canada) and give some examples of mitigation that can be used to prevent life loss during tsunamis.
What is a Tsunami?
Tsunamis are series of waves, generated by earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, explosions, or even impact of cosmic bodies, that travel across the ocean and have extremely long wavelengths. A tsunami can be created when a disturbance displaces a large water mass from its equilibrium position. In earthquake-generated tsunamis, the water column is disturbed by the uplift or subsidence of the ocean floor. Submarine landslides, which often come with large earthquakes, as well as disintegration of volcanic edifices, can also disturb the overlying water column as sediment and rock slump downslope and are redistributed across the sea floor. Similarly, a violent submarine volcanic eruption can create an impulsive force that uplifts the water column and generates a tsunami (Ruff, 2003, Yalciner, 2003). Conversely, terrestrial landslides and cosmic-body impacts disturb the water from above, as energy from falling debris is transferred to the water into which the fragments falls (Murty, 1977, Bryant, 2001, Clague et al., 2003, Yalciner, 2003).
Hazards and Risks in Canada
A popular misconception about tsunamis is that it is only one large wave. A tsunami, however, is a series of waves separated by minutes to an hour or more. The second or third wave is normally the largest. Tsunami hazards include floodin...
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...y, T. 2003. Tsunami Hazard and Risk in Canada. Natural Hazards. 28: 433-461
Hebenstreit, G. 1997. Perspectives on Tsunami Hazard Reduction : Observations, Theory, and Planning. Kluwer Academic Publisher. Boston, U.S.A.
Liverman, D., Batterson, M., Taylor, D., and Ryan, J. 2001. Geological Hazards and Disasters in Newfoundland and Labrador. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. 38 (5): 936-956
Murty, T.S. 1977. Seismic Sea Waves: Tsunamis. Dept. of Fisheries and the Environment, Fisheries and Marine Service. Ottawa, Canada
Okal, E.A. 1993. Seismology: Predicting Large Tsunamis. Nature. 361 (6414): 686-687
Ruff, L.J. 2003. Some Aspects of Energy Balance and Tsunami Generation by Earthquakes and Landslides. Pure and Applied Geophysics. 160 (10-11): 2155-2176
Yalciner. A.C. 2003. Submarine Landslides and Tsunamis. Kluwer Academic Publisher. Boston, U.S.A.
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