Designing for tsunamis in the Mediterranean
Civil engineers designing coastal defences and other structures around the sunny shores of the Mediterranean still need to account for the very real risk of massive impacts from tsunami waves, according the latest issue (165 MA2) of the ICE Maritime Engineering journal.
Denis Camilleri of DHI Periti in Malta says, ‘There are 13 active volcanoes in the central Mediterranean area. Most Mediterranean tsunami sources lie along mainland and island coastal regions, with tsunamis reaching local coasts soon after they have been generated, giving little time for warning, varying from 1 to 30 minutes’.
The most recent Mediterranean tsunami was triggered by an earthquake off the coast of Algeria in 2003, destroying over 100 boats in Mallorca and flooding the Balearic capital Palma. In 1956 a wave over 20 m high killed 53 people as it swamped the Greek island of Amorgos following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the Aegean seabed.
With onshore velocities of up to 13 m/s, Camilleri says civil engineers potentially need to design for horizontal loadings of up to 400 kN/m2, equivalent to 11 times equivalent hydrostatic pressure. ‘The force of some tsunamis is enormous. Boulders with masses around 200 t can be displaced inland by hundreds of metres by tsunami surges only 10 m deep.’
For more information please contact the ICE Proceedings editor Simon Fullalove on +44 20 7665 2448 or at email@example.com