Vestnik Otdelenia nauk o Zemle RAN VOL. 2, NZ10002, doi:10.2205/2010NZ000055, 2010

The problem of tsunami: yesterday, today and tomorrow

B. V. Levin

Institute of marine geology and geophysics of FED RAS, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia


According to latest views, tectonic earthquakes are the result of destruction of the environment and the sudden release of elastic energy stored in the earth's interior, as a result of geodynamic deformation. Resetting of the accumulated stress leads to the formation of seismic strike-slip faults and multiple micro faults in the medium. Modern researchers have linked the accumulation of stress in the rocks with endogenous events and exogenous periodic processes. They are seen, for example, as tidal effects of the Sun and the Moon on Earth. Humanity is clearly incapable of preventing the development of such processes.

Tsunamis are long gravity waves, which arise as a response to the aqueous layer to a strong underwater earthquake or a strong perturbation of the surface water from another source (a meteorite explosion, volcanic eruption, landslide). The height of wave run-up is able to overcome a 30 meters mark, and the range of splash often exceed 2–3 km. Today a tsunami warning service center, which has been operating in the Pacific region for many years, is based mainly on operational seismic information from seismologists, but the effectiveness of this service can't be considered as satisfactory yet and it requires further improvement.

The following questions are brought up in this article: what problems seismologists and tsunamists were interested in 20 years ago; the state of tsunami problem today and what are the prospects in the study of tsunami waves and reducing the risk of it in 20 years.

Received 30 September 2010; published 17 October 2010.

Citation: Levin B. V. (2010), The problem of tsunami: yesterday, today and tomorrow, Vestn. Otd. nauk Zemle, 2, NZ10002, doi:10.2205/2010NZ000055.

Copyright 2010 by the Geophysical Center RAS