Science of Tsunami Hazards (Jan 2010)


  • Roger, J.,
  • Accary, F.

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 29, no. 3
pp. 148 – 174


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In addition to meteorological hazards (hurricanes, heavy rainfalls, long-period swells, etc.), the Caribbean Islands are vulnerable to geological hazards such as earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions caused by the complex tectonic activity and interactions in the region. Such events have generated frequently local or regional tsunamis, which often have affected the island of Martinique in the French West Indies. Over the past centuries, the island has been struck by destructive waves associated with local or regional events - such as those associated with the eruption of the Saint-Vincent volcano in 1902 and by tsunamis of distant origin as that generated by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.The present study includes a classification of tsunamis that have affected Martinique since its discovery in 1502. It is based on international tsunami catalogs, historical accounts, and previous scientific studies and identifies tsunamigenic areas that could potentially generate destructive waves that could impact specific coastal areas of Martinique Island. The potential threat from tsunamis has been greatly increasing because of rapid urban expansion of coastal areas and development of tourism on the island.