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Tsunami risk for Florida and Cuba modeled
Research suggest that large submarine landslides off Great Bahama Bank
in the past were large enough to generate tsunamis

Source: of Miami Rosenstiel of Marine & Atmospheric
Science

Summary:
While the Caribbean is not thought to be at risk for tsunamis, a new
study indicates that large submarine landslides on the slopes of the
Great Bahama Bank have generated tsunamis in the past and could
potentially again in the future.

While the Caribbean is not thought to be at risk for tsunamis, a new
study by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School
of Marine and Atmospheric Science indicates that large submarine
landslides on the slopes of the Great Bahama Bank have generated
tsunamis in the past and could potentially again in the future.

“Our study calls attention to the possibility that submarine landslides
can trigger tsunami waves,” said UM Rosenstiel School Ph.D. student Jara
Schnyder, the lead author of the study. “The short distance from the
slope failures to the coastlines of Florida and Cuba makes potential
tsunamis low-probability but high-impact events that could be dangerous.”

The team identified margin collapses and submarine landslides along the
slopes of the western Great Bahama Bank — the largest of the carbonate
platforms that make up the Bahamas archipelago — using multibeam
bathymetry and seismic reflection data. These landslides are several
kilometers long and their landslide mass can slide up to 20 kilometers
(12 miles) into the basin.

An incipient failure scar of nearly 100 kilometers (70 miles) length was
identified as a potential future landslide, which could be triggered by
an earthquake that occasionally occur off the coast of Cuba.

Using the mathematical models commonly used to evaluate tsunami
potential in the U.S., the researchers then simulated the tsunami waves
for multiple scenarios of submarine landslides originating off the Great
Bahama Bank to find that submarine landslides and margin collapses in
the region could generate dangerous ocean currents and possibly
hazardous tsunami waves several meters high along the east coast of
Florida and northern Cuba.

“Residents in these areas should be aware that tsunamis do not
necessarily have to be created by large earthquakes, but can also be
generated by submarine landslides that can be triggered by smaller
earthquakes,” said UM Rosenstiel School Professor of Marine Geosciences
Gregor Eberli, senior author of the study.

The study, titled “Tsunamis caused by submarine slope failures along
western Great Bahama Bank,” was published in the Nov. 4 issue of the
journal Scientific Reports. The paper’s co-authors include: Jara S.D.
Schnyder, Gregor P. Eberli of the CSL-Miami, James T. Kirby, Fengyan
Shi, and Babak Tehranirad of the University of Delaware, Thierry Mulder
and Emmanuelle Ducassou of the Université de Bordeaux in , and
Dierk Hebbeln and Paul Wintersteller of the University of Bremen in .

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine &
Atmospheric Science.

Source: Tsunami risk for Florida and Cuba modeled: Research suggest that
large submarine landslides off Great Bahama Bank in the past were large
enough to generate tsunamis — ScienceDaily –
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161215085924.htm

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