this Suffering in the Mediterranean tsunami. One of them took place on January 31, 1756. The violence of the sea that day was such that the Spanish ripped off all the rocks from the rocks of the Mediterranean and threw them 80 meters deep, as if they were light pebbles. weather. inside. Today you can still see huge boulders piled on the ground.. The population doesn’t even notice them, much less knows why they’re there. But they are proof of what the power of nature can do in a matter of seconds.
Francesc Xavier Roig, Doctor of Geology and Geography, has been studying tsunami records in the Western Mediterranean for years and has put on the map a reality hitherto unknown to the population. His latest research, entitled ‘A review of tsunami deposits in the western Mediterranean’, was published in the Journal of the Geological Society of Spain, 33.
One from 1756 was a particularly intense tsunami, and there are some historical accounts of its effects, for example the caretaker of Majorca’s town of Santanyí describing how the fish on land to a depth of several meters and how large stone blocks were also displaced inland. Special, “Historical records show the entry of a wave more than half a league (2.4 kilometers) inland”Mallorca draws attention to the geographer.
The Balearic Islands were one of the places most affected by the 1756 tsunami caused by an earthquake off the Algerian coast, which was a major seismic activity due to the merging of two tectonic plates.
The most visible testimonies are in Menorca and Formentera, where you can still see them in enormous size on the south coast. Rocks weighing on average 8.5 tons, although they are about 32 tons..
Waves moving at 700 km/h towards Spain
It all happened so fast, says Roig. When the earthquake occurred in Algeria, a tidal wave was produced that moved north at 700 kilometers per hour. In just 35 or 40 minutes, the waves first reached the coasts of Formentera and Ibiza, nearly the coasts of Mallorca and Menorca, and other points along the Levante coast. In Formentera, the wave reached a height of 12 meters.
It violently slammed into the cliffs of Punta Prima on that island, smashing them into at least 27 large blocks that were much taller than a human scattered tens of meters inland. They are still visible today and form a geological and historical legacy that almost no one knows about.
Tsunami blocks have been found in other parts of the Spanish coast, a clear trace of processes similar to those in the Balearic Islands. These tsunamis always tend to follow the same pattern: “In Algeria, an earthquake occurs in the sea and that creates a tsunami and can have nine propagation directions from Alborán to Menorca,” explains Roig. This range of possibilities means that the Spanish coast, most exposed to Algeria, will one day get the effects of these tidal waves.
Moreover Tsunami-induced rock beds were discovered in Castelló and Murcia.. They are large blocks located near the cliff at Cape Cope de Murcia, one or four meters above sea level. Researchers attribute them to a tsunami that also occurred in northern Algeria.
In the case of Castelló, these were thought to be rocks falling from the valley, but Roig confirmed the origins of the tsunami with features similar to the previous ones.
However, the eighteenth century was not the only century when tsunamis occurred on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. In the Bay of Algeciras, rocks were found that researchers related to an earthquake that occurred in Almería in 1522, which affected large areas of the western Mediterranean. The epicenter of the earthquake would have been offshore near Alborán, causing a tidal wave that broke the coastline and gave rise to these blocks. According to archaeological remains, signs of another tidal wave, this time occurring in the 4th century BC, were also detected in the Bay of Algeciras.
Researchers have found remains at seven different places on the coast of the peninsula, but they believe other places have been lost forever. There should be blocks in Alicante and Valencia as well, but it’s a massively urbanized beach.explains Francesc Xavier Roig, who states that even where the blocks are preserved, a large part of them has been used in construction for centuries.
Spanish Levant, “tsunami risk zone”
Is there a risk of a tsunami occurring today? “Of course, something can happen as soon as you hang up,” Roig told this newspaper. In fact, in 2003, there was one with less intensity, clearly perceptible in things south of Ibiza. “I compared the data from the local press with the data from the 1756 tsunami and they nailed it,” the geologist says.
Although it may seem like an exaggeration, the truth is we are in a region of high tsunami risk worldwide”, given the seismic activity of northern Algeria. “The risk is clear, especially when you consider the number of people on the beaches in August,” he says.
The challenge is to take preventive measures. While it is true that warning systems have been developed to prevent the consequences of tidal waves and take action before they reach shore, “This works better in the Pacific than in the Mediterranean”. “Over there, it can be hours from the time a tsunami is triggered until it reaches shore, because the distances are great, but in our case the wave arrives in a matter of minutes,” he adds.
Reference article: https://sge.usal.es/archivos/REV/33(2)/RSGE33(2)_p_17_30.pdf
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