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Science & Technology

UK tsunami risk is much higher than thought

September 18, 2018 | Comment icon 4 comments



Nobody knows when the next tsunami will hit. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Ross
New research has revealed that the last tsunami to hit the UK was a lot more recent than anyone had realized.
For years it had been generally accepted that the last major tsunami to have devastated the coast of the British Isles struck 10,000 years ago when a huge underwater landslide - known as the Storegga Slide - sent a massive wave hurtling towards the Shetland Islands as well as parts of mainland Scotland, Norway and Greenland.

Given how long ago this happened, scientists had long dismissed the disaster as something extremely rare, but now new evidence has been found to suggest that this may not actually be the case.

"We found sands aged 5,000 and 1,500 years old at multiple locations in Shetland, up to 13 meters (43 ft) above sea level," said Sue Dawson from the University of Dundee.
"These deposits have a similar sediment character as the Storegga event and can therefore be linked to tsunami inundation."

The discovery indicates that tsunamis can and do hit the UK on a much more regular basis.

"They're much higher frequency, and 1,500 years ago is very, very recent - it's 500 [CE] if you want to think about it like that," said Dave Tappin from the British Geological Survey.

"It means that the hazard - the risk - is far more serious than we thought previously."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (4)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Doug1029 3 years ago
That's three major tsunamis in 8200 years.† Is this really an adequate sample? Doug †
Comment icon #2 Posted by L.A.T.1961 3 years ago
I wonder how they differentiate between big storms causing tidal surge and a tsunami ?†
Comment icon #3 Posted by Doug1029 3 years ago
When it's a sand/moss deposit†30 meters above the sea level at the time, it's not likely a tidal surge. Doug
Comment icon #4 Posted by mesuma 3 years ago
Awesome let's Hope it's Dundee next.† Place is a hole.


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