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SOME OPPORTUNITITES OF THE LANDSLIDE TSUNAMI HYPOTHESIS

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Author(s): Phillip Watts

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 19;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 126;
Date: 2001;
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Keywords: landslide tsunami research | tsunamigenic landslides | 1998 Paupa New Guinea earthquake and tsunami

ABSTRACT
Tsunami sources are intimately linked to geological events. Earthquakes and landslides are shown to be part of a continuum of complicated geological phenomena. Advances in landslide tsunami research will remain coupled with marine geology research. The landslide tsunami hypothesis is shown to have originated in the scientific literature in the early 1900s. Tsunami science has been slow to embrace the hypothesis in part because of the tremendous uncertainity that it introduces into tsunami gneration. The 1998 Papua New Guyinea event sparked much controbersy regarding the landslide tsunami hypothesis despite a preponderance of the evidence in favor of one simple and consistent explanation of the tsunami source. Part of the difficulty was the unanticipated distinction between slide and slump tsunami sources. Significant controversies still exist over other aspects of the Papua New Guinea event. The landslide hypothesis will become widely acceepted once direct measurements of underwater landslide events are made. These measurements will likely be integrated into a local tsunami warning system.

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