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Bureau Seminar, January 17, 2014

Advisory: Mega-tsunami watch for the Mediterranean issued for 8000 BP: the "Valle del Bove" Etna volcano collapse (Sicily, Italy) and its outcrop evidence in southern coastal Tunisia

Link to streaming video: available 01.17.2014 at 8:55am

Gregory Fr├ębourg
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology

A high-energy deposit cuts through the early Holocene eolianites of the Sidi Salem Formation which forms a ridge along the southeastern coast of Tunisia. The sedimentary structures as well as the paleo-altitude and paleo-location of the outcrop state for a subaqueous deposition by an unusually large catastrophic event. If an exceptional storm could potentially have accumulated similar deposits in the present settings, it is unlikely that the Mediterranean basin would have been able to generate a hurricane of such magnitude. The mega-tsunami of the 8000 BP collapse of the Valle del Bove valley (Etna Volcano) is the ideal suspect, for its matching age and calculated run-up height. Reading the (sometimes subtle) signs left by past catastrophes is crucial for preventing coastal disasters in touristic regions.



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