National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2012

Seismically generated tsunamis

Arcas, D., and H. Segur

Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A, 370(1964), 1505–1542, doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0457 (2012)

People around the world know more about tsunamis than they did 10 years ago, primarily because of two events: a tsunami on 26 December 2004 that killed more than 200 000 people around the shores of the Indian Ocean; and an earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan on 11 March 2011 that killed nearly 15 000 more and triggered a nuclear accident, with consequences that are still unfolding. This paper has three objectives: (i) to summarize our current knowledge of the dynamics of tsunamis; (ii) to describe how that knowledge is now being used to forecast tsunamis; and (iii) to suggest some policy changes that might protect people better from the dangers of future tsunamis.

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