Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers go into action after Tsunami

21.03.2005


British researchers have launched urgent research programmes in order to learn lessons from the recent Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster. Such knowledge is relevant to both UK, and overseas disaster assessment and prevention programmes.



Funded by grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), teams from the University of Cambridge, the University of Newcastle, and University College London have looked at differing aspects of the tsunami’s effects. Their objectives were to collect and assess appropriate structural, topographical, seismological and tsunami related data.

The University of Newcastle received a grant from EPSRC to undertake an immediate survey mission to the regions affected by the tsunami. Dr Sean Wilkinson from the University’s Civil Engineering Department, with Dr Tiziana Rossetto from University College London, participated as members of the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) - which has now returned from the disaster zone. Their aim was to research the damage to buildings and infrastructure caused by the tsunami and to make recommendations to reduce or prevent damage in the future.


A further objective was to assess the reasons for the high death toll and suggest what engineering / architectural measures could be taken to save lives. Drs Wilkinson and Rossetto spent 10 days in Sri Lanka and Thailand researching the tsunami’s impact on structures, coastal topography, and the differences in how well-designed and badly-designed buildings stood up to the events.

Dr Sean Wilkinson said of the findings: "What we found was quite unexpected. Even in the worst hit areas, many well engineered buildings suffered only modest structural damage, however they offered little protection from the tsunami. This is the opposite to what we find for normal earthquakes and has major implications for coastal communities worldwide."

A research team from the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge is using EPSRC funding in collating eyewitness reports from British citizens, field surveys, and satellite imagery to build a more complete understanding of the tsunami’s behaviour and potential risks.

"More than any other recent earthquake-related disaster, the immediate and long term effects are not confined to the Indian Ocean basin, but are still being felt around the world. Rapid recording of damage data helps to identify when and where such changes have occurred," said Professor Robin Spence, the Cambridge project’s Principal Investigator.

The Cambridge University work has direct implications for UK coastal regions. Dr Ilan Kelman and Keiko Saito the project’s researchers, explain: "UK coastlines are vulnerable to rare but large scale tsunamis. Major storm damage occurs relatively frequently. The understanding of safer coastal development, which our research work could produce, will apply directly to UK practices."

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) reacted quickly to these funding requests and ensured that the opportunity for optimised research with direct relevance to science, and people’s lives, was achieved.

Lance Cole | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system
21.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Scientists shed light on carbon's descent into the deep Earth
19.07.2017 | European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

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

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>