CANBERRA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- A new computer modelling system for promoting the defenses against tsunamis and storm surges of coastal communities was developed by Australian researchers, fluids modeller Dr. Mahesh Prakash with the national science agency said Friday at the Coast to Coast conference in Brisbane.
This new system was developed in the wake of the tsunami in Japan and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Until now, infrastructure planners and emergency managers had to rely on "Bathtub" models, in which water levels were predicted to rise evenly along a coastline. Prakash at the Commonwealth Science and Research Organization (CSIRO) indicated "the reality of a storm surge or tsunami is very different. The water is moving, often with a lot of force and it interacts with things that get in its way."
CSIRO's new models can show how fast water moves, how soon it reaches coastlines, how long it stays at peak levels, the magnitude of the force it generates on specified buildings, bridges, roads and other structures, and whether these structures are strong enough.
Based on the new system, "coastal walls, levees and other structures can be realistically tested at the design stage to see if they will provide protection to communities," Prakash said, "we can test structures before they're built and find out which parts of a city are vulnerable. That way we can help decision makers make communities more resilient."