Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From Arcturi.com

A wave higher than Nelson's Column and travelling faster than a jet aircraft will
devastate the eastern seaboard of America and inundate much of southern Britain, say scientists who have analysed the effects of a future volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands.

A massive slab of rock twice the volume of the Isle of Man would break away from the island of La Palma and smash into the Atlantic Ocean to cause a tsunami - a monster wave - bigger than any recorded. Most of the wave's energy, equivalent to the combined output of America's power stations for six months, would travel westwards to the American coast but enough would be flicked north towards the English Channel to cause catastrophic coastal damage.

A computer model has been designed to show the way the tsunami will build after the volcano, called Cumbre Vieja, erupts on La Palma, at the western end of the Spanish island chain. It describes the almost unimaginable scale of an event that the scientists say could happen at any time within the foreseeable future. "We're looking at an event that could be decades or a century away - but there
will be a degree of warning beforehand," said Simon Day, of the Benfield Greg
Hazard Reseach Centre at Univeristy College London.

Most of the rocky western flank of Cumbre Vieja is unstable enough to be
dislodged in the next big eruption of the volcano, which is active enough to
explode at least once or twice a century. Its last big event was in 1949.
Such a landslide from a future eruption could travel up to 60 kilometres (37 miles) from La Palma's coast, causing the formation and then collapse of a dome of water 900 metres (3,000ft) high and tens of kilometres wide. The bow of this collapsing dome of water would become a giant wave, but also, as the landslide continued to move underwater, a series of crests and troughs would soon generate the "wave train" of the tsunami.

With the leading wave in front and crests pushing it on behind, it would sustain the power for the nine-hour journey to the American east coast.

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