How commercial vessels could become tsunami early-warning systems

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail To see if that might be feasible, the researchers ran a mock scenario: They built computer simulations that drew on the locations of real ships near the Cascadia Subduction Zone. They also imagined that each of the digitized ships was carrying a GPS sensor that could precisely measure its elevation, or how it bobbed up and down in the waves. Sheehan explained that such vessels already use satellite systems to transmit their exact locations in the ocean—so the new sensors might only be a modest upgrade. The team then ran a synthetic experiment to see if ships at those locations might be able to forecast a tsunami. The test was a success. The findings show that similar networks of ships could be used to identify tsunami waves long before they ever reached shore, and all without needing to diverge from their normal routes.“A single ship couldn’t do this,” Sheehan said. “The power comes from having 100 ships in the same area that are all going up and down at the same time.”Scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information based in Boulder collaborated with the team to provide information on current tsunami warning systems and Cascadia tsunami hazards.​The researchers calculated that, at a minimum, you’d need a web of ships traveling about 12 miles, or 20 kilometers, apart to make accurate tsunami forecasts using their method. Just how much of an advanced warning such a fleet could provide to people onshore isn’t clear. It may depend on where the ships happen to be at that moment.But Hossen noted that team’s method could, theoretically, be applied in any ocean in the world as long as it had enough shipping traffic—even in regions like the Indian Ocean where the tsunami risk is high but disaster preparedness resources are often scant. “If we can use these ships, then it would probably be much more affordable for any country, not just developed ones,” he said. Other coauthors on the new study include David Mencin, a research scientist at CIRES, and Iyan Mulia of the University of Tokyo in Japan. Scientists may have discovered a new ally in efforts to keep coastal communities in the Pacific Northwest safe from future tsunamis, according to a new study: Fleets of commercial shipping vessels.The research taps into an urgent need for communities like Newport, Oregon, a seaside town that is home to more than 10,000 people. If a tsunami formed along a fault line in the Pacific called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, residents there might have just minutes to get to safety, said study coauthor Anne Sheehan. “A tsunami can take 20 or 30 minutes to reach the coastline, so the time is very short,” said Sheehan, a fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU Boulder. Fallout from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami along the Sumatra coast. (Credit: U.S. Navy) In a study now under review in the journal Earth and Space Science, she and her colleagues think that they may have stumbled upon a possible solution. Drawing on computer simulations, the group reports that networks of cargo ships carrying special GPS sensors could, theoretically, work together to automatically monitor a shoreline for possible tsunami waves—spotting these dangerous surges in less than 10 minutes in some cases. The team will present its findings Thursday, Dec. 10 at the 2020 virtual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).Lead author M. Jakir Hossen added that this early warning system would be much less expensive to put in place than current tsunami forecasting tools.“There are so many ships that are already traveling in the Cascadia Subduction Zone area,” said Hossen, a visiting fellow at CIRES. “We’re thinking about how we can use those existing facilities for tsunami forecasts.”When not ifIn a geologic sense, the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a bomb waiting to go off. Over the last few decades, scientists have discovered that intense energy seems to be building in the tectonic plates that lie miles below the Pacific Ocean from Northern California to British Columbia. “They could release this energy anytime and trigger a huge earthquake. The tsunami size could be as big as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami,” Hossen said. But as big as such a wave could be, if you were swimming in the open ocean, you might not even know that you were in the middle of a tsunami. That can make these disasters hard to predict ahead of time, said Sheehan, also a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.“Even a really big tsunami wave would be only a meter tall in the open ocean, and it would take 15 minutes to pass you,” she said. Scientists currently use seafloor sensors to record when a possible tsunami might be passing overhead. But these gauges are costly to install and maintain. Sheehan and her colleagues had a different idea: Why not take advantage of all of the ships that are already out there in the ocean, delivering goods like cars and produce to towns up and down the Pacific Coast?Global warning systemcenter_img Published: Dec. 10, 2020 • By Daniel Strain A stretch of the Oregon coast near the town of Cannon Beach. (Credit: CC Photo by Abhinaba Basu via Wikimedia Commons) Categories:Science & TechnologyNews Headlineslast_img read more

Kenya hosts festival celebrating culture from 15 countries

first_imgA group performs a Chinese dance during the International Cultural Festival A group performs a Chinese dance during the International Cultural FestivalThe Kenyan capital, Nairobi, hosted an International Cultural Festival focused on the spirit of diversity.The event brought together cultures from 15 different countries around the world, including China.Held annually since 2012, the festival promotes inter-cultural cooperation through different aspects of culture.This year’s event provided a good opportunity to learn more about different cultures.To celebrate the Chinese culture, a team from the Confucius Institute performed a spectacular dance routine, capturing different aspects of Mandarin culture.International and local cuisine were also on offer, as well as jewellery, paintings and traditional outfitsThe 2018 festival welcomed new countries like Iran and South Korea, a good indication that there’s a growing interest in cultural exchanges.last_img read more

After shock of trade wore off, Grayson Allen has settled in with Memphis Grizzlies

first_imgMEMPHIS — For Grayson Allen, it came as a shock back on July 6 when he was included in Utah’s blockbuster trade for Mike Conley and sent to Memphis along with Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver.Allen had split his time during his rookie season between the Jazz and the Salt Lake City Stars and finished the season with two big games, a 23-point effort in a win over Sacramento and a 40-point explosion in the season finale, an overtime loss to the Clippers. His future looked bright and he was looking forward to building his career in Utah.Then came the trade.“Oh yeah, I didn’t see it coming at all,” Allen said before Friday night’s game against his former team. “I knew going into the NBA, that’s part of it, but you never expect it.” “It was a shock, just as I was one year in and getting settled and had to pick up and move,” he continued. “I had to quickly transition to the summer league and come here and find a new place and get ready for training camp. So it was a busy summer.”Allen started off the season as one of the first guys off the bench for the Grizzlies and scored a season-high 13 points with five rebounds against the Lakers in the fourth game of the season. But he sprained his ankle on Nov. 2 in a game against the Suns and sat out for the next three weeks before returning earlier in the week against Indiana when he played 12 minutes and scored four points. He also played 18 minutes against the Clippers on Wednesday.Then Friday night, he was the first man off the bench for the Grizzlies, although things didn’t go great for him as he missed all five of his shots in the first half. He came back to hit a free throw and 3-point shot in the third quarter and finished the night with four points on 1-of-7 shooting with three rebounds and an assist.Allen says he has no hard feelings with the Jazz for trading him and still keeps in touch with Donovan Mitchell, Quin Snyder, assistant coach Johnnie Bryant and others.Snyder had good things to say about his former player before the game.“He’s committed to defending, he can score in a variety of ways, he can shoot the ball off the catch, he can get to the rim,” said Snyder. “He’s got a lot of tools and I’m happy for him that he’s got a good opportunity here. He’s got a bright future.”last_img read more