Paleoseismic Research Being Carried out on Anegada

Paleoseismic Research Being Carried out on Anegada

February 24, 20151916Views

Researchers from Germany, Guadeloupe, US and UK presented additional findings of paleoseismic research being carried out on Anegada. This morning they met with representatives from various Government Departments at the DDM offices in MacNamara.

The study, which commenced in March of 2008, continues to investigate the historical tsunami hazard in Anegada in hopes of cataloguing historical tsunami impacts through terrestrial research and interviews with community members and groups. The Team headed by Dr. Brian F. Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey at Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington returned to Anegada on February 9, 2015, with four other scientists and spent two weeks on the island collecting geologic evidence for extreme waves that may have impacted the island in the past 1,000 years.

The main goal of this visit was to field-test results of tsunami-inundation models that have been vastly improved by the new lidar coverage which was completed for Anegada last year. Scientists have envisioned many potential sources and sizes for tsunamis in the northeast Caribbean, and it can be difficult to distinguish between geologic traces of tsunamis and geologic traces of hurricanes. The team’s aim is to limit the range of expectable causes and sizes of extreme waves at Anegada.

The 2015 field group included a retired coral-reef specialist and a sedimentologist from Germany, both of whom visited in 2013. Every effort is being taken to minimize disturbance to natural areas by using only human-powered gear — shovels, hand augers, and cores 2 cm in diameter — for observation of subsurface geology. In addition to Dr. Atwater the other four members included Bob Halley who has been with the team since 2009, Michaela Spiske who joined the team last year, Jean Roger who has worked mainly in the French Antilles and Anna Lisa Cescon who has been doing a Ph.D. dissertation on Anegada’s beach ridges.