The development of palaeotsunami research

S. Skripsky \ Oceans First, Issue 2, 2015, pgs. 10-16.

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Over the last thirty years, the study of palaeotsunamis has received increasing attention. A palaeotsunami is a tsunami that happened in the distant past that there is no written record of. This paper will review the progress achieved and obstacles encountered in this field of palaeotsunamis. It will review how techniques, such as optical dating and radiocarbon dating, are used on coastal sediments to expand our understanding of palaeotsunamis. The main study sites discussed in this paper are located in New Zealand and British Columbia because these regions have different coastal deposits. By studying palaeotsunamis, researchers are able to better model and predict future tsunamis. Future ambition for this field of study is using palaeotsunami data to create a worldwide tsunami risk assessment, and being able to distinguish between sediments produced by palaeotsunamis or palaeostorms.