Mar 15, 2017 06:56 PM EDT
Scientists narrow down the predictability timeframe for tsunamis for as short as 5 to 10 minutes. Comparably, the new simulator is 60 percent faster than previous models. Disaster preparedness and response will particularly benefit from this new simulator.
According to Phys.org, scientists are now capable to accurately predict tsunamis based on the wave movements. When the new simulator is employed, it can predict when and where these destructive waves are going to hit. Further, it is now possible to compute the magnitude, height of waves and even how far the water is going to travel inland.
A tsunami can hit the coast in between 10 minutes to several hours. While simulation might not be as effective to those with a lesser time window, it is rather helpful to those who are about to get hit within half an hour or more. At any rate, tsunami simulation will be a great tool depending on the proximity of the coast to its origin.
Experts used the tsunami incident in 1958 at Lituya Bay, Alaska as a point of the simulation. What triggered the tsunami was the collapsed mountain slopes that subsequently slid a huge glacier over the bay. This particular catastrophe resulted into the largest waves ever recorded, according to the Western States Seismic Policy Council. The inland travel of water flooded the areas that are as high as 500 meters above sea level.
Another model that scientists used is the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that became infamous for its utter destruction of Aceh, Indonesia. Estimates of casualties reached as many as 280,000 in 14 countries, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern history. The waves towered at 30 meters during the inland water surge.
Meanwhile, this tsunami simulation can be useful against other similar disasters. Floods caused by overflowing rivers, storm surge, among others can be detected earlier as well. Scientists explained that they are using the same equations to compute flood mechanisms.
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