Tsunamis in the United Kingdom

Tsunamis in the United Kingdom

Tsunami waves are so rare in the United Kingdom, that there have only been two confirmed tsunamis in recorded history. A third event may have possibly been a tsunami, but is unconfirmed.

cotland, 6100 BC

Northern Scotland was struck by a convert|70|ft|m|0 high tsunami in 6100 BC, around 8000 years ago during the neolithic period. The wave was caused by the massive underwater Storegga slide off Norway, which dates from around the same time.

Tsunamite—the deposits left by a tsunami—dating from this event can be found at various locations around the coastal areas of Scotland and are also a tourist feature in Montrose Basin, where they are about convert|0.6|m|ft thick.

Cornwall, 1755

The coast of Cornwall was hit by a three-metre high tsunami on 1 November 1755, at around 14:00. The wave was caused by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The tsunami took almost four hours to reach the UK, and by the time the wave reached Cornwall it had lost most of its destructive power. Reports from historical Cornish records say that there were three of these tsunami waves, and say the sea receded very quickly, and then rose up. At St Michael's Mount, the sea rose suddenly and then retired, ten minutes later it rose 6 ft (1.8 m) feet very rapidly, then ebbed equally rapidly. The sea rose 8 ft (2.4 m) in Penzance and 10 ft (3.0 m) at Newlyn. The same effect was reported at St Ives & Hayle. Although there is no record of the overall deathtoll, the 19th Century French writer, Arnold Boscowitz, claimed that "great loss of life and property occurred upon the coasts of Cornwall"

Bristol Channel, 1607

The Bristol Channel floods, which happened on the morning of 30 January 1607, are suggested to have been either a tsunami caused by an earthquake or landslide off the Irish coast, or a freak combination of high tides and storm surge. Scientists and geologists say that after studying the disaster they are more convinced that it was a tsunami, rather than a storm surge.

The Future Tsunamis?

Many Geologists are sure that Britain is currently at threat from two tsunamis. In 1999 they started realising that the weight of the La Palma volcanoes in the Canary Islands in Spain (which weigh half a trillion tones) could pose a tsunami risk to Britain. They concluded that when the next volcanic eruption occurs the mass of rock alongside the volcanoes will break off and fall into the sea as a massive landslide. This in turn will generate a huge tsunami which will hit Spain, Portugal, New York, and the South coast of England. It is estimated that the waves will take around 2 hours to reach England, and that they will be as high as the Scottish tsunami that happened 8000 years ago (70 feet). It is believed by some that if nothing is done then thousands of lives will be lost.Fact|date=June 2008 However, there is considerable controversy about the accuracy of these predictions. Researchers at the Dutch Technical University at Delft found the island to be much more stable than was widely believed, estimating that it would take at least another 10,000 years for the island to grow enough to become a danger. [http://www.physorg.com/news77977989.html] Using computer software they modeled the island but could not generate a significant tsunami. [http://www.lapalma-tsunami.com/DI_06-3_Onderzoek_16-21.pdf]

Another tsunami that some Geologists believe Britain is due for is one caused by a landslide in Norway. In 2003 some Geologists noticed some hot springs off the coast of Norway were weakening a huge mass of land up a high hillside, not far from the place where the Storegga Slide occurred. They concluded that one day it will result in a huge landslide that will send tsunami waves down the east coast of Britain, which they predict will even surge down the Thames and hit London. From the geographical evidence, they predict the disaster will happen at around 2060 - give or take 200 years.Fact|date=June 2008

Because of these threats the Government is making plans for a tsunami warning system for Britain.

ee also

*List of earthquakes in the United Kingdom

*List of natural disasters in the United Kingdom



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