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Giant wave could threaten US
BBC ^ | 10 August 2004

Posted on 08/09/2004 8:34:11 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember

A collapsing volcano in the Atlantic could unleash a giant wave of water that would swamp the Caribbean and much of the eastern seaboard of the United States, a scientist has claimed.

Dr Simon Day, of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College London, UK, believes one flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries archipelago, is unstable and could plunge into the ocean.

If I was living in Miami or New York and I heard that the Cumbre Vieja was erupting, I would keep a very close eye on the news.

Swiss researchers who have modelled the landslide say half a trillion tonnes of rock falling into the water all at once would create a wave 650 metres high (2,130 feet) that would spread out and travel across the Atlantic at high speed.

The wall of water would weaken as it crossed the ocean, but would still be 40-50 metres (130-160 feet) high by the time it hit land. The surge would create havoc in North America as much as 20 kilometres (12 miles) inland.

Dr Day told BBC Science's Horizon programme: "This event would be so huge that it would affect not only the people on the island but people way over on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean - people who've never heard of La Palma."

His latest work on the subject has been published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.

On the back of this work, the Geological Society of London is to write to the UK science minister, Lord Sainsbury, to make him aware of the dangers posed by so-called mega-tsunami in the Atlantic.

The society hopes he will take the issue as seriously as he has the threat from asteroid strikes.

Scientists have known of the destructive power of tsunami - huge tidal waves - for many centuries. As recently as 1998, over 2,000 people were killed by a large wave hitting the coast of Papua New Guinea.

This was caused by an offshore earthquake. But researchers believe far bigger phenomena can be created by giant landslides.

The largest wave in recorded history, witnessed in Alaska in 1958, was caused by the collapse of a towering cliff at Letuya Bay. The resulting wave was higher than any skyscraper on Earth and gouged out soil and trees to a height of 500 metres (1,640) feet) above sea level.

Geological studies have found evidence of giant landslides elsewhere in the world such as Hawaii, the Cape Verde Islands and Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

Dr Day has identified dozens of volcanic vents in the Cumbre Vieja volcano that have been formed by successive eruptions over the past 100,000 years.

He thinks water trapped between dykes of impermeable rock could create pressures that eventually lead to the western flank of the mountain falling away during some future eruption.

Hermann Fritz, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which has equipment to model waves created by landslides, said: "If the Cumbre Vieja were to collapse as one single block, it would lead to a giant mega-tsunami with an initial wave height of 650 metres.

"It would have a wavelength of 30 to 40 kilometres (18 to 25 miles) travelling westwards across the Atlantic at speeds up to 720 km/h (450 mph) towards America."

But researchers caution that such a catastrophe may not occur for many decades.

"There could be five more summit eruptions of the Cumbre Vieja before the western flank collapses," said Professor Bill McGuire, of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre.

"There could be 10 or there could be 20 - we simply don't know. But put it this way: if I was living in Miami or New York and I heard that the Cumbre Vieja was erupting, I would keep a very close eye on the news."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: canaryislands; catastrophism; corliss; cumbrevieja; disaster; lapalma; tidalwave; tsunami; volcano
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I tried to post an October 10 article from the Independent in the UK with the latest findings, but some totalitarian editor there apparently formally complained to Free Republic, and therefore no postings are permitted from the Independent. So much for the free exchange of ideas. Instead I am posting an earlier report (from the BBC website) on research into the vast unstable flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma. The new research is at:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=549820

Please do not post from the Independent. I do not know how valid all this research is, I see every reason to set up an early warning system as recommended by Professor Bill McGuire in the new report.

1 posted on 08/09/2004 8:34:11 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember
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To: FormerACLUmember

October 10 = August 10


2 posted on 08/09/2004 8:34:40 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: FormerACLUmember

This is obviously George Bush's fault.


3 posted on 08/09/2004 8:35:58 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: FormerACLUmember
Hey! I get to say it first!

We are dooomed!

4 posted on 08/09/2004 8:36:30 PM PDT by Cold Heat (http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=20040531140357545)
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To: Recovering_Democrat

John Kerry has a secret plan that will save us.


5 posted on 08/09/2004 8:38:03 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: FormerACLUmember

We're all gonna die.....well someday anyway......*grin


6 posted on 08/09/2004 8:39:15 PM PDT by glasseye
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To: FormerACLUmember

By rough estimate, NY is about twice as far from the Canaries as London. Would London be destroyed in time to give NY lots of warning?


7 posted on 08/09/2004 8:41:17 PM PDT by per loin (This tagline has not been censored!)
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To: glasseye

Behold He comes riding on a wave shinning like the sun, at the trumpet call.


8 posted on 08/09/2004 8:41:23 PM PDT by boomop1
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To: Recovering_Democrat

Yes it is all the fault of those evil republicans!!


9 posted on 08/09/2004 8:41:59 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: FormerACLUmember

When's the movie?


10 posted on 08/09/2004 8:43:17 PM PDT by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: FormerACLUmember

I imagine that terrorists are already doing theoretical work on seeing if the flank slide could be artificially triggered by a large explosion. That's the first thing that came to mind.


11 posted on 08/09/2004 8:43:22 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: FormerACLUmember

Wouldn't the wave go in all directions??


12 posted on 08/09/2004 8:43:25 PM PDT by GeronL (geocities.com/geronl is back, or will be)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Sounds like what happens whenever Michael Moore sits down.


13 posted on 08/09/2004 8:44:08 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (Why do we have the "Red" label-they're the socialists!)
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To: GeronL
Wouldn't the wave go in all directions??

Yes and the Bahamas would take the brunt and spare south florida.

14 posted on 08/09/2004 8:44:53 PM PDT by corkoman (Logged in - have you?)
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To: FormerACLUmember
Ich, the thought of being swallowed up by a tidal wave is horrifying. I've had nightmares about that very thing.
15 posted on 08/09/2004 8:45:45 PM PDT by Born in a Rage
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To: GeronL

"Wouldn't the wave go in all directions?"

They should call it the Kerry Wave.


16 posted on 08/09/2004 8:46:29 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (Why do we have the "Red" label-they're the socialists!)
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To: FormerACLUmember
650 metres!

Most likely the resultant wave would be so massive, it would literally be unable to propagate itself in adjacent waters. As a consequence a soliton would be created. It would head off across the ocean, with undiminished height and mass, to totally devastate the shoreline opposite.

Most likely the collapse of the Antarctic as the last glaciation of the current Ice Age came to an end, produced many such solitons, or maybe even one very large soliton in a catastrophic collapse.

This is why there are no major works of man older than that time anywhere that we know of.

17 posted on 08/09/2004 8:46:37 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: per loin
By rough estimate, NY is about twice as far from the Canaries as London. Would London be destroyed in time to give NY lots of warning?

Yes and no. A smaller version of the tsunami would reach the UK first. The wave front, as I read it, gets greatly dissipated by the European Coast, the English Channel, the Thames Estuary, etc., so would not be as severe. Also I think the disintigrated flank of the volcano faces the East Coast of the US, so we would bear the full brunt of the mega-tsunami.

18 posted on 08/09/2004 8:46:47 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: Cold Heat

Hey I heard about this last year on TLC's show about tsunamis. So I get to say it first "We're all doomed!!!"


19 posted on 08/09/2004 8:47:14 PM PDT by vger (asta la vista earthlinks!)
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To: FormerACLUmember

"Dr Simon Day, of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College London, UK, BELIEVES one flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries archipelago, is UNSTABLE and COULD plunge into the ocean."

The weasel words, believes and could are not something I get all in an uproar over.


20 posted on 08/09/2004 8:48:00 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Start waxin' those surfboards, dudes!;)


21 posted on 08/09/2004 8:50:20 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: muawiyah

650 metres (or meters) equals about 1900 feet high, which is a wave a third of mile high hitting the East Coast. The Empire State Building is only 1/4 of a mile high. It would travel 20 kilometers inland, or 12 miles from the ocean.


22 posted on 08/09/2004 8:50:40 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: Cold Heat
At the time I am writing this post there are 20 replies and so far no one has said:

Women and minorities to be hardest hit.

23 posted on 08/09/2004 8:52:21 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: FormerACLUmember

How long would it take to reach the east coast?


24 posted on 08/09/2004 8:52:44 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Texas Eagle

LOL!


25 posted on 08/09/2004 8:53:19 PM PDT by Cold Heat (http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/staticpages/index.php?page=20040531140357545)
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To: FormerACLUmember

"...say half a trillion tonnes of rock falling into the water all at once... "; is that like a one with nine zeroes after it or is it a million times a billion? In the US a billion is a one with nine zeroes after it(a thousand million). In the UK a billion is a million million. In the US a trillion would be a onnnne with 12 zeroes behind it or a million million or one UK billion. Does that mean that a UK trillion would be a million times a million times a million or a one with eighteen zeroes behind it or would it be that a UK billion is the same as a UK trillion when expressed in US terminology?


26 posted on 08/09/2004 8:53:28 PM PDT by vger (asta la vista earthlinks!)
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To: FormerACLUmember
Giant wave could threaten US

We need to make sure Michael Moron doesn't belly flop into the ocean.

27 posted on 08/09/2004 8:53:39 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (I Annoy Buchananites)
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To: FormerACLUmember

La Palma volcano

28 posted on 08/09/2004 8:54:22 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: FormerACLUmember
Swiss researchers who have modelled the landslide say half a trillion tonnes of rock falling into the water all at once would create a wave 650 metres high (2,130 feet) that would spread out and travel across the Atlantic at high speed.

It'd be a damn shame if that half a trillion tons had the help of the first Islamic nuclear weapon to get it started.

29 posted on 08/09/2004 8:56:20 PM PDT by asgardshill (Jury Duty REJECT - Perfect 0 and 11 record stands.)
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To: vger

onnnne = one


30 posted on 08/09/2004 8:57:05 PM PDT by vger (asta la vista earthlinks!)
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To: Recovering_Democrat

I question the timing of this.


31 posted on 08/09/2004 8:58:10 PM PDT by Howlin (Saving Private Hamster)
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To: denydenydeny
I imagine that terrorists are already doing theoretical work on seeing if the flank slide could be artificially triggered by a large explosion. That's the first thing that came to mind.

That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. Second thing was to get crackin on the screenplay!!!!

32 posted on 08/09/2004 8:58:16 PM PDT by ScottinSacto (Win another one for the Gipper)
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To: GATOR NAVY

Does anyone really live on Hierro?


33 posted on 08/09/2004 8:58:18 PM PDT by AGreatPer
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To: fhayek
--John Kerry has a secret plan that will save us.--

he will "reach out" to the tsunami, and will end this arrogant "go it alone" bush tsunami policy.

34 posted on 08/09/2004 8:58:24 PM PDT by smonk
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To: FormerACLUmember
Why couldn't a nuclear bomb be used to neutralize/disrupt the wave?
35 posted on 08/09/2004 8:59:43 PM PDT by fso301
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To: FormerACLUmember

I saw this on the show "Blue Planet" on the Discovery Channel, it was pretty interesting.


36 posted on 08/09/2004 9:00:07 PM PDT by Ros42
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To: FormerACLUmember
650 metres (or meters) equals about 1900 feet high, which is a wave a third of mile high hitting the East Coast. The Empire State Building is only 1/4 of a mile high. It would travel 20 kilometers inland, or 12 miles from the ocean.

---------------

I hope I'm at home when it happens. If I'm at work I'll be dead, but if I'm at home I should have easy beach access :)

37 posted on 08/09/2004 9:00:45 PM PDT by sc2_ct (This is the way the world ends... not with a bang but a whimper)
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To: Howlin

LOL, I do to leaving in Wilmington, could ruin my whole day.


38 posted on 08/09/2004 9:01:03 PM PDT by boomop1
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To: boomop1

My niece just moved into a new house down there!


39 posted on 08/09/2004 9:02:21 PM PDT by Howlin (Saving Private Hamster)
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To: Frank_2001

Whoa, dude! You don't wanna wipe out on those waves, brahhh! Still, that would be, like, totally awesome man!!


40 posted on 08/09/2004 9:02:37 PM PDT by GOP_Raider (Conservative, Republican, Raider Fan)
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To: Howlin

Leaving should be living but maybe leaving in the outcome head to daughters in Roxboro.


41 posted on 08/09/2004 9:03:00 PM PDT by boomop1
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To: FormerACLUmember
Don't quantum waves collapse when observed?

If you got enough observers, the same should happen here.

42 posted on 08/09/2004 9:03:25 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: fso301

No nukes! Save the world for conventional weapons!


43 posted on 08/09/2004 9:03:25 PM PDT by vger (asta la vista earthlinks!)
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To: Texas Eagle

You forgot the elderly.


44 posted on 08/09/2004 9:05:47 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: CindyDawg
How long would it take to reach the east coast?

"After travelling across 4,000 miles of the Atlantic for about nine hours the tsunami would hit the Caribbean islands and the east coasts of Canada and the US with devastating effect. It would stretch for many miles and sweep into the estuaries and harbours for up to 20 miles inland, destroying everything in its path."

45 posted on 08/09/2004 9:06:28 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: vger

Obviously this is Bush's October suprise... Drown the Blue States


46 posted on 08/09/2004 9:07:28 PM PDT by trthnjsts
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To: fso301
Why couldn't a nuclear bomb be used to neutralize/disrupt the wave?

Why not use conventional weapons (a few 'Big Bertha' JDAMS might be the ticket) in the same fashion that several small avalanches are triggered in snow country to prevent one massive avalanche.

47 posted on 08/09/2004 9:08:00 PM PDT by asgardshill (Jury Duty REJECT - Perfect 0 and 11 record stands.)
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To: fso301
Because a nuclear explosion is smaller than the wavelength of these waves. They would pass through it or around, and if you create a difraction pattern on the other side, there's the potential of creating a larger amplitude. The only way a nuclear weapon would stop it is if you blew off part of this wall that might fall. If the concern is about water inside the rocks creating pressure on it, why not just drill holes into it to let the water out?

What I fantasize about is putting a nuclear weapon inside a hurricane. Would it disrupt it, or would the added heat/energy power the cyclone (these things are heat engines, and the rising air in the eye is what causes the low pressure.

48 posted on 08/09/2004 9:08:19 PM PDT by Styria
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To: GSlob

Oh, yeah. Thanks for the assist. I also forgot the chilllllllldrun.


49 posted on 08/09/2004 9:08:50 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Not much time. We need to keep a close eye on it.


50 posted on 08/09/2004 9:09:25 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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