Tsunamis Research on Coastal Communities Infrastructure
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Tsunamis Research on Coastal Communities/ Infrastructure (Image 1)

May 1, 2012
In this tsunami research experiment, conducted at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory at Oregon State University, a tsunami bore (wall of water) hits a vertical wall that is behind a horizontal slab, causing large uplift forces on the slab and large horizontal force on the wall. Tsunamis pose a significant threat to coastal communities and infrastructure throughout the world. In many cases, horizontal evacuation is not possible due to very short warning times or the large number of people to be evacuated. It is essential that existing buildings--or new emergency centers--be evaluated or designed for vertical evacuation. However, there has been a lack of research on the effects of tsunami waves on coastal infrastructure such as buildings, bridges and harbor facilities, and design guidelines are lacking. Researchers conducted experiments to help better understand 1) how tsunamis propagate over shallow reefs and onto shore, and 2) the forces waves put on these on-shore structures when they hit them. The results from the experiments will help researchers provide guidance in designing tsunami-resilient structures. Credit: R. Riggs, University of Hawaii

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