La Palma Tsunami
The mega-hyped tidal wave story
New Dutch research shows claims are untrue
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Visit La Palma
La Palma photographs and tourist information
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Scientists critical
The list of scientific organisation with contra-evidence now includes:
*Canarian Volcanic Institute
*TU Delft
*Southampton Oceanography Centre
*The Tsunami Society
*Charles L. Mader, Tsunami expert
*George Pararas-Carayannis
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About this website
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Reactions from the scientific community:
The La Palma Tsunami theory was launched in the media without consultation with leading scientists in this field.
The media have been happy to repeat the scaremongering without checking the facts.
The scientific community does not take the Horizon program seriously because they consider it to be largely a work of fiction.
Leading scientists disagree with the conclusions drawn from the original geological and scientific research. Many of the assumptions made by the program have been disproved by other research.
Supporting evidence 0 : Contrary evidence 7 and growing
The 'evidence' for the Tsunami mega-hype was produced by 2 commercial organisations working together. So far there has been NO independent evidence to support this hypothesis. NO scientists have jumped to support this theory, not a single one.
NO vulcanologists have agreed.
NO geologists have agreed.
NO hydrogeologists have agreed.
NO tsunami experts have agreed.
NO wave experts have agreed
In fact distinguished scientists have shot holes in all parts of the theory.
There is much scientific evidence which contradicts the conclusions drawn.
Lack of supporting evidence any one of these fields would invalidate the whole mega-tsunami hype.
Lack of supporting evidence on ALL counts can only point to misuse of science and the media for commercial purposes.
Southampton Oceanography Centre
Researchers at the Southampton Oceanography Centre who have been performing research into the debris surrounding the Canary Islands have found that the landslides on the Canary islands and specifically La Palma have been caused 'bit by bit' and not in one huge catastrophic disaster.
Source: BBC
TU Delft
The TU Delft has modelled the island of La Palma and attempted to simulate a landslide large enough to cause a significant Tsunami. They could not do so with realistic or even exaggerated data. Only by using extreme and totally unrealistic values could they get an form of landslide and even then any wave reaching America would be about 15cm high, or perhaps 1 meter. They have modelled and disproved all the key points in the Ward/Day results.
Source: TU Delft
The Tsunami Society
The Tsunami Society, a group of leading Tsunami scientists, have published a special news bulletin to counteract the incorrect and misleading information being published by, among others, the Horizon program.
Source: Tsunami Society
Challenger Division of the UK's SOC.
Challenger Division scientists Russell Wynn and Doug Masson have researched the under sea deposit and conclude 'The results, based upon landslides that occurred about 15,000 and 180,000 years ago, indicate that these events may actually fail in multiple stages. Each stage of failure probably produced a small tidal wave that may have affected the local area, but there is certainly no evidence that these failures would have generated a giant mega-tsunami that would have affected areas far from the source. '
Source: SOC, Canary slides
Charles L. Mader, Mader Consulting Co., Honolulu, Hawaii USA
Charles L. Mader, a leading Tsunami expert has published a paper in the "Science of Tsunami Hazards Volume 19, pages 150-170 (2001)" called "Modelling the La Palma Landslide Tsunami" in which he shoots holes in the mathematical model used as a basis for the Horizon program. His conclusion is that even using the greatly exaggerated size of the block any wave reaching the US would be less than 1 meter high and would form no significant danger.
Read the abstract here: Abstract
See also his new book "Numerical Modelling of Water Waves - Second Edition" (includes CD-ROM) CRC Press (
George Pararas-Carayannis. Paper published in Science of Tsunami Hazards, Vol 20, No.5, pages 251-277, 2002
Dr. Pararas-Carayannis destroys the La Palma Tsunami theory with well researched and presented scientific data. Almost every aspect of the Horizon program is proved to be false.
Abstract: "Massive flank failures of island stratovolcanoes are extremely rare phenomena and none have occurred within recorded history. Recent numerical modelling studies, forecasting mega tsunami generation from postulated, massive slope failures of Cumbre Vieja in La Palma, Canary Islands, and Kilauea, in Hawaii, have been based on incorrect assumptions of volcanic island slope instability, source dimensions, speed of failure and tsunami coupling mechanisms. Incorrect input parameters and treatment of wave energy propagation and dispersion, have led to overestimates of tsunami far field effects. Inappropriate media attention and publicity to such probabilistic results have created unnecessary anxiety that mega tsunamis may be imminent and may devastate densely populated coastlines at locations distant from the source - in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The present study examines the assumptions and input parameters used by probabilistic numerical models and evaluates the threat of mega tsunami generation from flank failures of island stratovolcanoes. Based on geologic evidence and historic events, it concludes that massive flank collapses of Cumbre Vieja or Kilauea volcanoes are extremely unlikely to occur in the near geologic future. The flanks of these island stratovolcanoes will continue to slip aseismically, as in the past. Sudden slope failures can be expected to occur along faults paralleling rift zones, but these will occur in phases, over a period of time, and not necessarily as single, sudden, large-scale, massive collapses. Most of the failures will occur in the upper flanks of the volcanoes, above and below sea level, rather than at the basal decollement region on the ocean floor. The sudden flank failures of the volcanoes of Mauna Loa and Kilauea in 1868 and 1975 and the resulting earthquakes generated only destructive local tsunamis with insignificant far field effects. Caldera collapses and large slope failures associated with volcanic explosions of Krakatau in 1883 and of Santorin in 1490 B.C., generated catastrophic local tsunamis, but no waves of significance at distant locations. Mega tsunami generation, even from the larger slope failures of island stratovolcanoes, is extremely unlikely to occur. Greater source dimensions and longer wave periods are required to generate tsunamis that can have significant, far field effects. The threat of mega tsunami generation from massive flank failures of island stratovolcanoes has been greatly overstated."
Read the abstract here: Paper
El Pais, quoting a leading Spanish scientist
"It is hypothetical and moreover improbable, and the model would not have passed the stage of an elegant theoretical exercise if the authors had not spent a week publicly airing it before publishing it (tomorrow) in a specialised journal. Why so much interest in publicising it? The explanation perhaps lies in the fact that the research centre is funded by an insurance company, concerned with natural catastrophes."
Spanish vulcanologist Juan Carlos Carracedo
The Spanish vulcanologist Juan Carlos Carracedo who was first to spot the instability caused by the 1947 cracking was horrified by the sensationalism of the British researchers, stating:
'The error is modelling a phenomenon when there are no (sic) probabilities of it happening. It is as if one makes a model of what Madrid would look like after an atom bomb explosion. What interest does it have for the general population when the probability is not determined?
Adding 'In La Palma, there is on-going earthquake monitoring and absolutely no seismic activity has been detected... And retorting the claim of geological proof of the Canaries collapsing in the past, he informs us that. 'We are talking about a geological timescale, and the last time La Palma slipped was 560,000 years ago !
A couple of students
I have received 2 negative comments about this website, both from university students, who basically said that their professor was disgusted that I was intent on destroying the 'years of research' by 'reputable scientists'.
My answer to them is that I am not destroying years of research because, as I state clearly throughout the website, the original research appears to be correct but supports only about 1% of the content of the television program.
My intention is to show the treatment of the research by the BBC Horizon program to be a work of fiction without scientific basis and with about as much scientific credibility as the movie Jurassic Park.
A scientist close to the Horizon program
I have been contacted by a person close to the people who made the Horizon program. So far I have received no answers to my request for the missing facts which would eliminate the questions raised on this website.
I have been insulted and told to mind my own business!
This seems to fit in with other comments I have received about the teams deliberate avoidance of scientific discussion, negation of standard scientific procedures and refusal to consider the substantial amounts of contrary evidence presented to them.
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