NYTimes: Tsunami in Switzerland? 100 foot wave on Lake Tahoe — Recent 30 foot wave in Washington — Dozens of US nuclear reactors sit along lakefronts

Published: November 23rd, 2012 at 3:31 pm ET
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“People think that, to be affected by a tsunami, you have to live on seacoasts and in a region not too far away from major seismic activity — We think we have a counterexample” -Guy Simpson, a geologist at the University of Geneva

New York Times, Nov 19, 2012:

A Tsunami in Switzerland? Lake Evidence Says Yes

[...] Researchers at the University of Geneva now say they have found that evidence, in the form of a large deposit of sediment in the middle of the lake. [...]

Most tsunamis occur in oceans and are generated by earthquakes, like the one off Japan last year. But lake tsunamis are not unknown, said Richard A. Schweickert, an emeritus professor of geology at the University of Nevada in Reno. He cited evidence that the collapse of part of the shoreline of Lake Tahoe within the past 20,000 years caused a tsunami with wave heights of perhaps 100 feet. [...]

“People think, ‘Oh, lucky us, we live near a lake — we don’t have any such threat,’ ” Dr. Simpson said. “This reminds people that hey, hang on, these things have happened in the past, and quite likely will happen again.”

The Economist:

Nuclear Power Plants around Great Lakes. There are many other US reactors located on lakes. (Source: NIRS)

A millennium and a half ago, Geneva was destroyed by a giant wave. Recent research suggests it could happen again[...] The team’s computer modeller, Guy Simpson, has reconstructed the tsunami that would have been generated by the amount of material in the tongue. Within 15 minutes of the collapse, a wave 13 metres high would have reached Lausanne, a city on the northern shore of the lake. [...]

Dr Kremer’s work also raises the question of whether other lakes are at risk of generating tsunamis. Some might be. In 1806, for example, a landslide into Lake Lauerz, further east in Switzerland, triggered a tsunami 20 metres high. [...]

National Parks Traveler:

What some media reports have referred to as an “inland tsunami” occurred on January 16, 2009, at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in eastern Washington State—and this impressive wave was not the first of its kind at the lake. [...]

Responding rangers found that a section of hillside approximately 17 acres in size across from Breezy Bay had broken free. The subsequent landslide had fallen into the water, creating a wave that was about 30 feet high when it hit the shore about a thousand yards across the lake.

View the October 2012 study here

Published: November 23rd, 2012 at 3:31 pm ET
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15 comments

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15 comments to NYTimes: Tsunami in Switzerland? 100 foot wave on Lake Tahoe — Recent 30 foot wave in Washington — Dozens of US nuclear reactors sit along lakefronts

  • Urban27

    Big wave – astonishingly 525 meters high! It happen in Lituya Bay 1958.


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    • VanneV anne

      World's Biggest Tsunami
      The largest recorded tsunami was a wave 1720 feet tall
      http://geology.com/records/biggest-tsunami.shtml


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      • jump-ball jump-ball

        12 NPP sites on the U.S. eastern seaboard, shown on the nuclear power map below, some with multiple reactors, are in varying degrees defenseless and vulnerable to tsunamis caused by a variety of earthquake, rock/land/slide/slump and undersea Atlantic fracture events, 2 of which waves are mentioned below:

        "Any place on the coast is at risk of tsunamis, and the East Coast is no exception. In 1929, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Newfoundland triggered a large underwater slump that ruptured the new transatlantic cable in 12 places. The slump also produced a tsunami that was recorded along the eastern seaboard as far south as South Carolina and across the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal. In Newfoundland, the tsunami reached heights of over 20 feet and claimed 29 lives. Earthquakes do occur along the east coast. Large earthquakes do occasionally occur elsewhere in the Atlantic that may pose a tsunami risk to the east coast. The 1755 Lisbon, Portugal earthquake produced a very large tsunami that was observed in the Caribbean and probably produced waves along the east coast." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tsunami/ask-050331.html

        U.S. reactor map:

        http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/reactor-map/embedded-flash-map.html


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  • ftlt

    Old news really… Nuclear energy is a 100,000 plus year toxic system that was/is/will be always at risk of failure – wherever it is used, found, generated or stored … It is sold to us with that risk attached.. It is a dumb bunny system… Folks just drink the Kool-aid while others get rich…


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  • NPPs have to be near water.

    Water for critical cooling is either at the sea shore or along rivers or lakes. Most rivers and lakes are created do to geological cracks, you guessed it, caused in part by earthquakes.

    The psychopathic builders of these Death Machines have known this all along. They get 'geology' experts to claim whatever. They pay the lowest bidding contractor to meet some baseline 'specs' for so called safety.

    Then the NRC (Nuclear Rubber stamp Commission)continually roll the lopsided dice with 'your utmost safety in mind'.

    What that really means is…
    'They're praying like hell that one of these planet killers doesn't blow on their shift… it would most certainly be regrettable and make for a very bad day.'


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    • Highest 'known' waves in the great lakes.

      + 20 to 35 feet.
      ("Seiches" – and that's just from bad weather)

      Great Lakes Storm of 1913:

      "In 1913, from the ninth of November through the twelfth, all five lakes were turned into cauldrons of boiling water by a unique combination of weather patterns. Before the four days ended, 13 ships went under and many more were driven ashore. Two hundred forty-four men lost their lives. The largest loss of ships was on Lake Huron"

      The sea wall at Fukushima was only 30 feet if I recall.

      How high are the wave walls with the NPPs located around the Great Lakes?
      Do they even have wave walls? :(


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  • patb2009

    hawaii may also have a mega-tsunamai

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megatsunami#Hawaii

    however, these are fairly rare.

    one can map for them, and try and avoid sighting nuclear facilities in their effect zone.

    not that we shouldn't shut down nuclear power plants, they are mostly a failed economic experiemnt


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  • leodp

    Hi, actually you do not even need a big lake.
    In 1963, not many years ago, a mountain fell into an artificial lake, causing a 250m high water front and more than 2k deaths.

    From Wikipedia:

    At 10:39 pm, a massive landslide of about 260 million m3 of forest, earth, and rock, which fell into the reservoir at up to 110 km per hour (68 mph) completely filled up the narrow reservoir in front of the dam. The landslide was much faster than predicted, taking just 45 seconds, and the resulting displacement of water caused 50 million m3 of water to overtop the dam in a 250-metre-high (820 ft) wave.[6][7]

    For more details check the link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajont_Dam

    On google maps, this is the dam, still in place, no water but earth filling it up almost completely (262m/860 ft high!):
    http://maps.google.it/maps?q=vajont&hl=it&ll=46.267007,12.330276&spn=0.002614,0.005332&sll=47.696454,13.345766&sspn=5.183646,10.92041&hnear=Vajont,+Pordenone,+Friuli-Venezia+Giulia&t=k&z=18

    This was man-made. Tragedy due to greed for money. Does it ring as bell?

    Leonardo


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  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    Recently during Hurricane Sandy there was 30+ft. waves on Lake Michigan here in Chicago! They closed down beaches,Lake Shore Drive,Lower Wacker Drive,etc. for about 4 days. I was thinking of the Zion NPP,among others in nearby Michigan,etc. and more importantly-how they were holding up to the constant barrage of monstrous waves crashing into & above cooling water intakes and the SFP's,turbine/pump rooms,switchyards,etc.??!! The eleven disgusting NPP's that ALL show my home location as being within the plume zones following major release events & I don't believe their "official" safety record or that there haven't been noteworthy(harmful) incidents,events,whatever during their long operational history here either?!! Sadly IL would be No.#7 in the WORLD as a "Nuclear Power" if it were a country instead of a State! Just thinking about all of the different scenario's & things that can(probably have?)go wrong and being built in proximity to major population centers like the Chicago Metropolitan area including my border suburb 3 miles NE of "Red Gate Woods" is something I sometimes feel "alone" about regarding my concerns?!! I'm gonna "bust" them with my new GM gear and a scintillation device capable of detecting Alpha once I get the hang of the testing procedures & after a good friend officially calibrates and officially certifies my higher end gear for accuracy & accumulation of damning data that contradicts the Industry & EPA test results!-if it's the last…


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    • richard richard

      go Johnny Blade, we need more 'people' monitors. although, frankly, it's unlikely to change things much.

      remember, the nukers have billions of dollars invested and available. It's going to take a lot more then a $1000 device to stop the mongrels.

      a lot more. Think billions versus billions.

      (ps, i read some of your struggles earlier. my concerns are with you and your wife. now you've described your surroundings it's sounds like ground zero. In my amateur way, I think you are swimming in contaminated soup).


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      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        Hi Richard, Thanks for the input & kind words! I went a bit overboard with regards to the number of GM counters I've been buying lately so I can confirm spikes in radiation levels by comparing readings from multiple devices,although I may be "donating" the largest,most sophisticated of the lot to somebody "in our corner" who can actually operate it?!! I'm a ham operator with a streak of "MacGuyver" that has allowed me to improvise things pretty well when need be,but this thing is BIG and also has glass tubes(12 I think?)for running samples that display on both the built-in screen and a roll of graph paper about as wide as a roll of paper towels.There's boxes & boxes of accessories & cables,etc. & it had to be moved with a 1-ton pu with a liftgate just to get it to the storage unit & then on a pallet jack to the unit! I'm gonna grab the paperwork & snap some pics & see if any of our ENE brothers & sisters with nuke credentials can put it to use?! It has DOE paperwork and property markings (with proper receipts)from the govt. surplus auction it came from. Regarding my "ground zero" status~I KNOW you are right!There's an explosion of cancer all around me(& in me too 4 all I know?)and albeit's a "little bit late"-my wife agreed to finally fully cooperate with me & follow my lead if I can PROVE to her that we are "in the soup"!I'm also encouraged that I've managed to spread the right word in a way that allows people to educate themselves instead of taking my…


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