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Genesis and impact of tsunamis on the european coasts : Tsunami warning and observations

Objective



The project GITEC-TWO is a cooperative effort involving partners from seven European countries (France, Italy, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom) and addressing the important problem of predicting, monitoring and managing the risks associated with tsunamis produced directly and/or indirectly by earthquakes affecting the European continent. Tsunamis are known to have affected northern and especially southern European coasts, the European countries most severely threatened being Greece, Italy and the atlantic coasts of the Iberian peninsula. The main consideration is that, in spite of the recognition that Europe is exposed to the attack of disastrous tsunamis, no routinely operating system exists today in the European continent to real-time alert the population and to protect the coasts. This constitutes a serious gap with respect to the Pacific Ocean countries, especially USA, Japan and Russia, that have installed national Tsunami Warning Systems (TWSs) since several decades now and that are cooperating together for a Pacific-wide TWS. GITEC-TWO will be centered on designing and/or implementing local Tsunami Warning Systems in some of the European regions that are the most affected by tsunami activity: this will help reducing the gap with the most advanced countries, will contribute to make new substantial scientific and technical progresses, and most importantly will result in mitigating the the risk for all people living in the areas exposed to the tsunami menace. The GITEC-TWO project, concerning the integration and validation of real-time warning systems for earthquake and tsunamis, is structured in the five following main objectives: 1) Tsunami Warning Systems (TWSs); 2) New Techniques to Model Tsunami Genesis; 3) New Techniques to Model Tsunami Propagation; 4) Tsunami Observations; 5) Tsunami Risk; that are all interrelated, though hierarchically the last four can all be seen as gravitating around the fundamental first objective regarding the TWS. The above tasks have been given a further finer structure involving sub-objectives. The first issue embraces: (1) upgrading the Portuguese DETWS system (2) and establishing a multistation French TREMORS network to monitor the Gorringe Bank tsunamigenic region; (3) designing and implementing a pilot TWS in eastern Sicily and (4) designing a TWS suitable for the Kythira Strait broad region, Greece. As regards tsunamigenesis, new techniques will be developed to investigate (1) the earthquake source, (2) the dynamical coupling between sea floor and water waves in the generation region, (3) submarine sedimentary mass destabilisation and (4) submarine mass sliding. Concerning the tsunami wave propagation, emphasis will be posed on ( 1 ) enhancing numerical hydrodynamical models for offshore and coastal propagation, (2) investigating wave amplification and breaking on coastal slopes, (3) tsunami wave run-up and low-land flooding, (4) tsunami deposits and beach erosion. Tsunami observations include (1) installing digital sensors suitable for tsunami recording, (2) instrumental data processing and devising algorithms for tsunami detection, (3) updating the European tsunami catalog, (4) evaluating long-term tsunami frequency through geological means. Furthermore the evaluation of tsunami risk will be performed at specific coastline segments that are included within the areas monitored by the planned TWSs. GITEC-TWO is based on an interdisciplinary approach: seismologists, oceanographers, geologists, sedimentologists, numerical modellers, engineers, experts in land and urban planning will cooperate together to achieve the proposed tasks. KEYWORDS : Natural Hazards,Numerical Models, Real-time Operations, Tsunami Risk, TWS

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA
Address
Viale Berti Pichat 8
40127 Bologna
Italy

Participants (8)

Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA)
France
Address
Centre D'etudes De Bruyères-le-châtel
91680 Bruyères-le-châtel
Coventry University
United Kingdom
Address
Priory Street
CV1 5FB Coventry
INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS DA TERRA E DO ESPACO
Portugal
Address
58,Rua Da Escola Politecnica 58
1269-102 Lisboa
INSTITUTO GEOGRAFICO NACIONAL
Spain
Address
3,C/general Ibaçez De Ibero 3
28003 Madrid
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica
Italy
Address
Via Vigna Murata 605
00143 Roma
NATIONAL OBSERVATORY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
Lofos Nymfon
11810 Athens
UNIVERSITY OF OSLO
Norway
Address

0316 Oslo
Università degli Studi di Genova
Italy
Address
Corso Europa 26
16132 Genova