USC Tsunami Research Center in the World’s News

In the aftermath of the catastrophic events in Japan, the Astani Department professor is widely quoted.

March 16, 2011 — Part of the USC Viterbi School’s Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and directed by Professor Costas Synolakis, the Tsunami Research Center carries on all aspects of tsunami research; including inundation field surveys, numerical and analytical modeling, and hazard assessment, mitigation and planning. Click on the logo to learn more.

March 17: Friday’s waves also will help researchers study tsunamis in San Diego County, where about 25,000 people live in areas at risk of flooding. Two scientists with the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California were in the county Tuesday assessing the effect of the waves.
March 16: "Tsunamis caused by underwater landslides off Southern California could reach as high as 40 feet, although they would be localized and quick to dissipate, said Costas Synolakis, director of the Tsunami Research Center at USC. …USC researchers estimate that a tsunami created by an offshore quake could cost the region $7 billion to $40 billion from port closures alone.
March 16: Costas Synolakis, director of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California, said the offshore earthquake zone close to either plant is not capable of producing the 8.9 magnitude quake that devastated Northeast Japan last week. Regions farther north, from the California line to British Columbia, are in much greater danger for that sort of event, he said.
March 14: "It looks like what happens if you hit a drum," Synolakis said. "You create waves with just one hit to it, but the drum keeps vibrating. What that means is it takes a couple waves to come in. Then you set up these back and forth waves inside the harbor that end up reinforcing each other. Crescent City took about 36 hours for the oscillation to die down."
March 14: A 7 minute interview of Costas Synolakis by Warren Olney on Reporter’s Notebook: The questions: "We know we’re in earthquake country, but what parts of Southern California are also vulnerable to tsunamis? Are warning systems in place?"
March 14: "Scientists at federal agencies are using a newly developed tool — a modeling system — called MOST (Method of Splitting Tsunami) to help predict how tsunamis will develop. The system … has vastly improved predictions of a tsunamis’ behavior and effects — wavelength and amplitude among them — and as a result, tsunami warnings have become far more detailed and accurate, according to Costas Synolakis, … who, along with Vasily Titov, developed MOST.
March 13: (op-ed When Will We Learn? by Costas Synolakis)   "… a world-class warning system is only part of the tsunami story. What the world needs are tsunami-resilient communities that plan ahead not for any particular tsunami but for a medley of coastal hazards, storm floods, sea-level rises, and hurricanes…."
March 11: When the earthquake ruptures along a fault line, the surface around that fault is pushed up and then dropped back down. That movement displaces the entire water column above that chunk of the surface. "This is the most common way to generate a tsunami," said Aggeliki Barberopoulou of the University of Southern California’s Tsunami Research Center, who is monitoring the current tsunami as it affects California.
March 11: "This was the largest tsunami ever measured by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tsunamographs in the open ocean, with maximum crest height of over 2 metres," says Costas Synolakis, director of the University of Southern California’s Tsunami Research Center in Los Angeles.
March 11, 2011: “Tsunamis tend to be highly directional and spread out across the ocean in fingers of energy –- they’re called fingers of God,” said Costas Synolakis….


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