ASTARTE: Assessment Strategy and Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe

Monday, 15 December 2014
Maria Ana Baptista, Instituto Port Mar e Atmosfera, Lisbon, Portugal, Ahmet C Yalciner, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and Miquel Canals, Universitat de Barcelona, GRC Geociencies Marines, Barcelona, Spain
Tsunamis are low frequency but high impact natural disasters. In 2004, the Boxing Day tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of people from many nations along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean. Tsunami run-up exceeded 35 m. Seven years later, and in spite of some of the best warning technologies and levels of preparedness in the world, the Tohoku-Oki tsunami in Japan dramatically showed the limitations of scientific knowledge on tsunami sources, coastal impacts and mitigation measures. The experience from Japan raised serious questions on how to improve the resilience of coastal communities, to upgrade the performance of coastal defenses, to adopt a better risk management, and also on the strategies and priorities for the reconstruction of damaged coastal areas. Societal resilience requires the reinforcement of capabilities to manage and reduce risk at national and local scales.

ASTARTE (Assessment STrategy And Risk for Tsunami in Europe), a 36-month FP7 project, aims to develop a comprehensive strategy to mitigate tsunami impact in this region. To achieve this goal, an interdisciplinary consortium has been assembled. It includes all CTWPs of NEAM and expert institutions across Europe and worldwide. ASTARTE will improve i) basic knowledge of tsunami generation and recurrence going beyond simple catalogues, with novel empirical data and new statistical analyses for assessing long-term recurrence and hazards of large events in sensitive areas of NEAM, ii) numerical techniques for tsunami simulation, with focus on real-time codes and novel statistical emulation approaches, and iii) methods for assessment of hazard, vulnerability, and risk. ASTARTE will also provide i) guidelines for tsunami Eurocodes, ii) better tools for forecast and warning for CTWPs and NTWCs, and iii) guidelines for decision makers to increase sustainability and resilience of coastal communities. In summary, ASTARTE will develop basic scientific and technical elements allowing for a significant enhancement of the Tsunami Warning System in the NEAM region in terms of monitoring, early warning and forecast, governance and resilience.

This work is funded by project ASTARTE - Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe. Grant 603839, 7th FP (ENV.2013.6.4-3 ENV.2013.6.4-3)