Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Southern California tsunami could cause $42 billion damage

31.03.2005


Long Beach hardest hit in economic scenario modeled at USC



A new University of Southern California study, which appears in the April edition of Civil Engineering magazine, finds that the potential damage from a tsunami in Southern California could range from $7 billion to as much as $42 billion.

The report is the first attempt to calculate possible losses from tsunamis, as opposed to earthquakes, in the Southern California area.


Entitled "Could It Happen Here?" the article builds on research by Jose Borrero, assistant research professor of civil engineering, and Costas Synolakis, professor of civil engineering, at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering regarding tsunamis caused by underwater landslides in unstable sediments off Palos Verdes peninsula. Synolakis is director of the USC Viterbi School Center for Tsunami Research.

A tsunami in this area could inundate Terminal Island and much of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as producing substantial run-up on Orange County beach cities, with maximum waves arriving only one minute after the slide. Municipalities potentially affected include Carson, Long Beach, Wilmington/San Pedro, Palos Verdes Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, Seal Beach, Westminster, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Hawaiian Gardens, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

The study uses methodology co-created by one of the authors, Harry W. Richardson, who holds the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning at the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development, with a PPD colleague, Professor Peter Gordon. This scheme breaks down Southern California into 308 zones, whose individual contribution to the area’s economy is noted in detail, along with their economic connections to other zones.

Researchers used an improved version of the system, called the Southern California Planning Model, to incorporate effects caused by damage to the highway system. James Moore II, who is a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Civil Engineering and Public Policy and Management at the Viterbi School, worked with Richardson on the application of the model to a tsunami.

"We have not attempted to account for the cost of fatalities in our estimates," said Moore. "We chose not to model fatalities because we were being deliberately conservative, and because we wanted to avoid contentious assumptions about the economic value of life." Moore noted that "the Papua New Guinea tsunami of 1998 was generated by a mechanism similar to the one modeled here, and that event cost over 2,000 lives. The toll here could be much higher."

The study assumed four possible scenarios, of increasing severity. In scenario 1, losses were confined to inundated areas, with no freeway links closed, and no crippling damage to the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach.

The following 3 scenarios assumed escalating problems, with a worst case being closure of critical freeway links and the ports for one year, forcing the shipment of $83 billion in exports now going through these facilities elsewhere.

The study also breaks down direct losses by municipality, with Long Beach suffering some $3.6 billion in damage, by far the largest for any single city.

The authors note that these losses, significant as they are, would be only a part of a general picture of damage. The most likely trigger of a landslide off Palos Verdes would be a large earthquake -- which itself would produce billions in damage.

"However, it is important to remember that these tsunami costs would be incurred in addition to earthquake costs," the authors note.

Eric Mankin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>