Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers go into action after Tsunami


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:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine

nachricht Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>