Tsunamis Research on Coastal Communities Infrastructure
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Tsunamis Research on Coastal Communities/ Infrastructure (Image 3)

May 1, 2012
For this tsunami research experiment, two narrow flumes were built in the large basin at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory at Oregon State University. Each flume, and the remainder of the wave basin, had different bottom slopes and flat reefs. The waves are breaking at different locations in each flume and in the main basin due to the different bottom slopes and reefs. 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. This image is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation's George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program (grants CMMI 05-30759 and CMS 04-02490). Credit: R. Riggs, University of Hawaii

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