Geology News - Earth Science Current Events



Monday, September 26, 2005


Atlantic Ocean Tsunami Threat

Researchers at Benfield Hazard Research Center have identified a potential Atlantic Ocean tsunami threat from large-scale landslides at the Canary Islands. Surface and submarine investigations show a long-term history of mega-landslides at multiple locations in the Canary Island chain. Much of the current research focuses on the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma shown in the satellite image below.



Studies of surface faulting produced by a 1949 eruption suggest that a large mass of between 200 and 500 cubic kilometers could slip into the sea, generating an Atlantic Ocean tsunami with basin-wide impact. Models suggest that these waves could be 100 meters high at adjacent islands, 50-100 meters high on the African coast, 7-10 meters high at Spain and the UK and over 20 meters high on the coast of Florida. Although the probability of such a slide is very low, the enormous impact merits serious attention.


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Read more about the potential Atlantic Ocean Tsunami at the Benfield Hazard Research Center website. Another comprehensive article about Tsunami in the Atlantic Ocean can be seen that the Maine Geological Survey Website.



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