Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tsunami 'trigger' spotted on Google Earth

New Scientist: "'We were doing fieldwork on the volcanic island of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles and initially just used Google Earth to identify good study areas,' he says. 'But with its 3D flyover tool, we quickly got excellent direct glimpses of a slab or rock that may soon cause a tsunami.'

The flyover tool allowed Teeuw and his colleagues to examine the million-tonne rock in 3D, and from several angles. They found plenty of evidence that this block of coastline is a landslide waiting to happen. 'The flank is undercut by erosion from the sea and we saw scars from recent landslides and tension cracks above the block,' he says. 'Earthquakes are common in the area and we are pretty sure it's going to go soon.'"

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