Scientist develops plan to zap tsunamis with sound waves •

Scientist develops plan to zap tsunamis with sound waves


Things like the weather and natural events are inevitable. We can’t control rainfall, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis – or can we?

A mathematician has proposed a potentially exciting way to use deep-ocean sound waves to go head-to-head with tsunami energy. This could reduce the tsunami’s height, as well as its impact on the environment, human lives, and structures.

Usama Kadri of Cardiff University is the mind behind the proposed method. His plan would use acoustic-gravity waves, or AGWs. This type of sound wave can travel at the speed of sound thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface.

Scientists would use the AGWs to do battle with an incoming tsunami, firing them at the tidal wave repeatedly until its energy began to disperse.

Kadri’s findings were published in the journal Heliyon. The plan would involve building highly accurate AGW frequency transmitters or harnessing the AGW energy that occurs naturally in an event such as a tsunami.

“Within the last two decades, tsunamis have been responsible for the loss of almost half a million lives, widespread long-lasting destruction, profound environmental effects and global financial crisis,” Kadri said.

In March 2011, a tsunami hit the coast of Japan, flooding the Fukushima nuclear plant and causing the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. A 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed more than 230,000 people in 14 countries.

“Up until now, little attention has been paid to trying to mitigate tsunamis and the potential of acoustic-gravity waves remains largely unexplored,” explained Kadri.

Building the AGW frequency transmitters necessary to take down a tsunami would be difficult. Scientists could also use the tsunami’s own energy against it. A system to harness natural AGW energy would have the added benefit of being used for early detection of catastrophic geological events.

By Dawn Henderson, Staff Writer
Source: Usama Kadri, Cardiff University

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