DR Philippe Blondel
Department of Physics, University of Bath
The session will be presented by Dr Philippe Blondel, a University of Bath specialist in seabed mapping.
Tsunamis are highly destructive waves usually created by offshore earthquakes. The havoc they can wreak was tragically demonstrated in the tsunami that struck Japan earlier this month resulting in the death of thousands of people
Sudden and unpredictable, tsunamis travel as fast as jumbo jets and can quickly affect areas even thousands of kilometres away from the sea bed where they originate.
The impacts of tsunamis are most visible on land but also disturb marine habitats, an important source of income for the local communities already affected by a natural disaster.
Dr Blondel will discuss the latest progress in ocean mapping and tsunami research, as well as the tools for prediction and protection.
He will outline the physics of earthquakes and tsunamis, other possible causes for tsunamis, and how it is experienced on the ground with seismic aftershocks and a series of devastating waves.
Seabed mapping with acoustic sensors reveals the zones most at risk of tsunami, as well as the sources of more frequent events and the likely period of recurrence. The event will present this through a series of topical examples around the world and in Europe.
Dr Blondel works in the Department of Physics at the University of Bath and has spent many years mapping the oceans at the National Oceanography Centre (Southampton) and the University of Washington (Seattle). He is a Chartered Geologist and a Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics.