Coastal areas are particularly susceptible to geological disaster whether they are tectonically active or not. Some coastal disasters happen fast and others are slowly ongoing but just as damaging. We will discuss the most abrupt and therefore the ones directly dangerous to human life first and get to the less dangerous ones at the end of the unit. Tsunami are the most impressive and they usually have a geological origin so we will spend quite a bit of time on them but we will also discuss sea-level rise and land subsidence as well as the impact of large storms in the coastal zone.
When you have finished the work for this unit, you should be able to:
1. Describe waves
based on the parameters of wave height, wave
period, wave velocity and wavelength.
2. Know the differences between normal ocean waves and tsunami using wave parameters.
3. Discuss the properties of tsunami in deep water and how they are transformed upon reaching coastal shallows
4. Describe how and where earthquakes generate tsunami
5. Understand the plate tectonic environment and processes that led to the tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004.
6. Explain the various volcanic processes that can cause tsunami.
7. Explain how major slope failures can cause tsunami and where this is likely to happen in the future.
8. Explain how tsunami warning systems work and how they could be made more effective.
9. Understand how and where land subsidence occurs in coastal areas.
10. Understand the factors that affect global sea level change.
11. Understand the dangers associated with tropical storms in coastal areas and which geological environments are at greatest risk.
12. Use the Saffir-Simpson Scale to classify tropical storms.
13. Evaluate various methods used to reduce erosion along vulnerable coasts.
Required ReadingsAbbott, P.L., 2014. Natural Disasters, Ninth Edition:
Readings From the Old Book
Abbott, P.L., 2012. Natural Disasters, Eighth Edition:
|Archimedes Principle||Ice Shelf|
|Ash||IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)|
|Aswan Dam||IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences)|
|Basaltic Lava||Larsen B Ice Shelf|
|Coastal Marsh||NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)|
|Continental Shelf||Phreatic Eruption|
|FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)||Shield Volcano|
|Greenland Ice Cap||Thermal Expansion|