Tsunamis: geology, hazards and risks: introduction

Scourse, Ellie M.; Chapman, Neil A.; Tappin, David R.; Wallis, Simon R.. 2018 Tsunamis: geology, hazards and risks: introduction. In: Scourse, E.M.; Chapman, N.A.; Tappin, D.R.; Wallis, S.R., (eds.) Tsunamis : geology, hazards and risks. London, UK, Geological Society of London, 1-3. (Geological Society Special Publication, 456, 456).

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A decade or so ago, if you had asked almost anyone in Europe or North America, they might not have recognized the word ‘tsunami’. The enormous and tragic event that swept across the shores of the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004, followed only a few years later by the devastating tsunami caused by the March 2011 Great Tohoku earthquake off Japan, both with appalling loss of life, changed all that. Today, the words ‘tsunami warning issued’ seem to appear frequently on international ‘breaking news’, showing the extent to which we have become sensitized to the triggers that launch these deadly, but terrifyingly spectacular, natural events. Yet, great tsunamis and the tectonic events that cause them have not suddenly become more frequent. The historical records of old civilizations contain accounts of major inundations reaching back hundreds or thousands of years and sometimes even warnings to future generations – valuable, if they are heeded. What has changed, and has consequently raised the profile of tsunamis, is the exponential growth in world population over the last few 100 years, the great majority of whom live in coastal areas and are consequently exposed to hazard, along with instant global communication, which brings every large earthquake on Earth's plate margins directly and immediately onto our screens.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0305-8719
Date made live: 14 Mar 2018 14:54 +0 (UTC)

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