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RE: Philosophical Discussion

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I certainly am not an expert on Tsunami's, etc. (and the experts are welcome
to dispute) but I believe a Tsunami is more likely to affect a bay rather
than a straight coastline. The height of the wave is a function of the depth
of the bay and the velocity of the wave is a function of the shape of the
bay (the smaller the "radius" of the bay the higher the velocity). Of
course, all of this requires the presence of an offshore active fault
capable of generating a significant quake. As far as I know, the only way to
mitigate Tsunamis are to build a breakwater like Long Beach did.

Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From: raranous(--nospam--at) [mailto:raranous(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, July 19, 1998 7:58 PM
To: seaint
Subject: Philosophical Discussion

I'm sure you all saw Shafat's message regarding the New Guinea
earthquake.  This morning's newspaper talked about the 26 foot (?)
tsunami which struck the island resulting in widspread destruction and

Recent studies for the California North Coast area (California-Oregon
Border) indicate the potential for a 30 m (approx. 90 ft) tsunami
resulting from a maximum credible event at the "tripple junction" not
far off shore from Eureka, California.

My philosophical question is--As engineer's is there any feasible, yet
economical, way to deal with tsunami's of the size experienced or

It seems to me that there is not an economical method to deal with
structural damage.  However, maybe land use policies need to be
addressed.  This works for the US and probably for Canada (hope the
Canadian members respond to this) but would it work in other countries
such as Japan?  Wholesale relocation of businesses and residences is an
expensive proposition.  But is it more economical to relocate now, or
wait until the event occurs and have to do it when people have lost

I will be very anxious to hear opinions on this topic.  We readily
address seismic design issues, and tsunamis are a part of the seismic
hazard.  Opinions?

Rick Ranous
Governor's Office of Emergency Services