The illegal mining of corals off the southwest coast of Sri Lanka permitted far more onshore destruction from the 26 December2004 tsunami than occurred in nearby areas whose coral reefs were intact. This is the principal finding of a team of researchers from the United States and Sri Lanka who studied the area earlier this year. Their report is published in the 16 August issue of Eos, the newspaper of the American Geophysical Union.
Some of the differences were startling. Lead author Harindra Fernando of Arizona State University reports that in the town of Peraliya, a wave of 10-meter [30-foot] height swept 1.5 kilometers [one mile] inland, carrying a passenger train about 50 meters [200 feet] off its tracks, with a death toll of 1,700. Yet, a mere three kilometers [two miles] south, in Hikkaduwa, the tsunami measured just 2-3 meters [7-10 feet] in height, traveled only 50 meters [200 feet] inland, and caused no deaths.
The researchers found that this pattern of patchy inundation to be characteristic of the study area and was not related to such coastline features as headlands, bays, and river channels. Rather, the key factor was the presence or absence of coral and rock reefs offshore. At Hikkaduwa, the hotel strip is fronted by a rock reef and further protected by coral reefs that the local hoteliers protect and nurture, the researchers report. Relatively little damage and few deaths were recorded from there to Dodanduwa, around six kilometers to the south.
Harvey Leifert | EurekAlert!
Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles
23.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Less radiation in inner Van Allen belt than previously believed
21.03.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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