In open seas geohazards are usually caused by short-term geological events that affect littoral infrastructures and indirectly threaten coastal human communities. Submarine landslides are considered as an important source for marine geohazards due, amongst others, to their capacity to generate devastating tsunami waves and cause catastrophic human life and infrastructure loss. Several European Community funded projects have been set up, or they are currently being implemented, that attempt to understand their triggering mechanisms, post failure evolution and possible tsunami generation. The devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26th, 2004 stressed the need for assessing geohazards in vulnerable coastal areas. The most common mechanisms of tsunami generation involves earthquakes, but local tsunamis from submarine landslides are also possible with little chances for establishing early warning systems against these type of tsunamis. TSUMOSLIDE (submarine landSLIDEs and TSUnami MOdeling on the margins of the Mediterranean Sea) aims to understand the triggering sources of submarine landslides, their geological setting, and mathematically model their behavior along the slope, their possible tsunamigenesis, propagation and behavior while approaching coastal areas. Numerical modeling is useful in predicting future tsunami impact and flooding limits in specific coastal locations and communities and therefore reduction in life loss due to such devastating phenomenon. TSUMOSLIDE will provide fundamental data and an accurate model for tsunami propagation in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea. It will help, inline with the European scientific community, to develop tools that can be used by disaster management authorities for effective tsunami prevention plans in Europe, in particular, near densely populated coastal cities.
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