Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Tsunami Education Web Site Developed by Oceanographers

23.11.2009
Scientists and Web developers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have created a new educational Web site with crucial tips on how to prepare for and survive a tsunami. Tagged as “an interactive guide that could save your life,” the site also features the latest tsunami-related science research and compelling tsunami survivor videos and interviews.

“Tsunamis can neither be prevented nor precisely predicted yet,” says site initiator Dr. Jian Lin, a WHOI geologist actively involved in tsunami research and a member of a U.S. national committee on tsunami warning and preparedness. “But people educated about tsunami warning signs can save their own lives and the lives of others.”

Tsunami is the Japanese word for “harbor wave,” and is the term used when giant undersea earthquakes, landslides or volcanic eruptions generate a sudden motion of ocean water that results in a series of large waves. In the open ocean, these waves can travel as fast as 500 miles per hour — the same speed as a jet plane. They slow and grow in height as the waves near the coast; a tsunami can quickly engulf vulnerable coastal regions resulting in widespread destruction and death.

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, in which 240,000 lives were lost, serves as a reminder of how devastating these events can be. While tsunamis are not particularly rare — 25 noticeable ones have occurred in the last century in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, and Mediterranean — they are rare enough to escape the collective consciousness, so that people do not recognize them or know what to do when they occur.

“Despite the tremendous loss of life that tsunamis cause,” says Lin, “until now, the public worldwide — including school kids — had a hard time finding user-friendly and interactive Web sites to educate them on what tsunamis are, the warning signs of an approaching tsunami, and what to do if they see a warning sign.”

In September 2009 more than 180 people were killed by the Samoa tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a warning 15 minutes after a powerful undersea earthquake, but most people of the Samoan Islands did not receive the warning before the waves hit.

“Some lives could definitely have been saved if everyone living on or visiting the Samoan Islands knew to run to the high ground when they first felt ground shaking or saw the ocean behaving strangely,” says Lin.

The new Web site, http://www.whoi.edu/home/interactive/tsunami/, is intended to be a resource for both residents and visitors to coastal zones of the U.S. and the rest of the world, as well as an educational tool for students from the middle-school level and up.

Using interactive graphics and animations, the site covers how to prepare for a tsunami, how to respond should you see one approach, and what to do in the aftermath. It includes stories from survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, amateur video, and even includes a sound file of the undersea earthquake that caused the 2004 tsunami. The site also explores the research and technology currently being used to study and watch for tsunamis and includes video interviews with scientists describing their work.

“This site is an invaluable source for educating the public and providing outreach to at-risk coastal communities,” says Dwayne Meadows of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Meadows, who shares his own tale of survival from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the site, serves as NOAA's first environmental hazards representative on the new U.S. government Civilian Response Corps.

“We’ve taken the lessons learned from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and applied that to the study of other earthquakes and tsunamis,” adds Lin. “Scientists are making progress. But public education is still the most important means to saving lives.”

This project received funding from the WHOI Coastal Ocean Institute.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization in Falmouth, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans’ role in the changing global environment.

Media Relations Office | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.whoi.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>