A catalogue of tsunamis reported in the UK

Long, D.. 2015 A catalogue of tsunamis reported in the UK. Edinburgh, UK, British Geological Survey, 63pp. (IR/15/043) (Unpublished)

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IR_15_043 BGS Tsunami catalogue update.pdf

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Summary Over the years many events around the coasts of the UK have been described as tsunamis or tidal waves. Evaluation of the data indicates only a few of these events are definitely tsunamis. The data types vary from sedimentary deposits, primarily of pre-historic events, through recorded observations, particularly reports in 19th and 20th century newspapers, to tide gauge records mainly from the latter half of the 20th century. The major tsunami events within the UK include the Storegga tsunami which struck coasts in the northern half of the country about 8150BP, and the tsunami triggered by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Lesser events are primarily associated with earthquakes with epicentres offshore Portugal, but others are local events triggered by coastal cliff falls. These lesser events are often only noted on tide gauge records. Most reported events are probably not tsunamis. Many are likely to have been weather related events known as meteotsunamis. These are large amplitude, long wavelength seiches caused by rapid changes in air pressure. They occur predominantly along on the south coast of England and have over the years caused fatalities and damage to structures. Some are uncertain events where the triggering mechanism is not clear. These include sediment layers found in Shetland resembling tsunami deposits but it is uncertain if the sediment is deposited by waves or are aeolian or through downslope processes.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This report was made open to all by author March 2016. This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Additional Keywords: UK Tsunami catalogue meteotsunami
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 22 Mar 2016 13:45 +0 (UTC)

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