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Modeling reveals Storegga tsunami that hit Scotland 8,200 years ago would destroy entire towns today | UK News

A tsunami that hit the Scottish coast 8,200 years ago would have devastated entire towns if it happened today, new modeling has revealed.

The Storegga tsunami occurred when glacial and interglacial sediments moved down the coastal slopes of Storegga – along Norwaycontinental shelf of the Norwegian Sea.

It is considered the biggest natural disaster in the UK in the past 11,000 years.

At the time, it affected 373 miles of coastline, but scientists have now been able to model the modern impact of the disaster for the first time.

They show that the ancient wave reached 30m high and would have traveled 30 km inland, wiping out areas such as the town of Montrose in Angus – home to 12,000 people.

Storegga Tsunami
This map shows the town of Montrose in Angus, Scotland and how it would have been impacted by the wave today

The research, published in the journal Boreas, was conducted by experts from the universities of St Andrews, Sheffield and York – 30 years after the discovery of the disaster.

Lead author Professor Mark Bateman of the Sheffield Geography Department explained that the modeling was made possible by analyzing the soil deposits left by the wave.

He said: “While there is no similar threat from Norway today, the UK could still be exposed to flooding from potential volcanic eruptions around the world, such as those planned in the Canary Islands.

“These would cause a similar resulting tsunami wave due to the amount of material that would be displaced by the volcano.

Storegga Tsunami
Red in this graph shows the extent of wave impact inland in Scotland

“These models give us a unique window into the past to see how the country was and could be affected again.”

Using sedimentology and luminescence, the researchers were able to determine the age, number and strength of each of the tsunamis …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-03 19:37:00

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