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Megatsunami is an informal term to describe a tsunami that has
initial wave heights much larger than normal tsunamis.
• Origin: a large scale landslide, collision, or volcanic eruption event as
opposed to raising or lowering of the sea floor due to tectonic activity.
• Prehistoric: asteroid impacts; Mt. Etna volcanic landslide; East Molokai
Volcano collapse; etc.
• Modern: 1792, Mount Unzen, Japan (100m); 1963, Vajont Dam, Italy
(250m); 1980, Mount St. Helens-Spirit Lake, WA (260m).
1958, Lituya Bay Megatsunami:
a huge landslide (~40 million cubic
meters of rock and ice) triggered by
an 8.3 magnitude earthquake in
Alaska created waves with a run-up
up to ~525m high on the Lituya Bay,
largest known in modern times.
Future concerns: potential massive landslide on a
volcanic ocean island (ex. Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Hawaii)
Earthquake Prediction
• Short-range predictions:
 Goal: provide a warning of the location
and magnitude of a large earthquake
within a narrow time frame (weeks/days).
 Focus on precursors – such as
measuring uplift, subsidence, and strain
in the rocks.
 Currently, no reliable method exists
for making short-range earthquake
Earthquake Prediction
• Long-term forecasts:
 For a given location, provide
the probability of a certain
magnitude earthquake
occurring on a time scale of
30 to 100 years, or more.
• Intermediate-term
middle-range forecasts:
 Specify Regions of
Increased Probability
within the time frames of
years to months (TIP=time
of increased probability).
Important to develop…
…but success is questioned…