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 Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

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: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>