by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 08, 2012
Natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis are expected to have substantial ecological effects, but if researchers don't have enough data about the environment before the disaster strikes, as is usually the case, it is difficult to quantify these repercussions.
The 2010 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Chile is a rare exception to this trend, and researchers were able to conduct an unprecedented report of its ecological implications based on data collected on coastal ecosystems shortly before and after the event. The study is published on May 2 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
The researchers, led by Eduardo Jaramillo of Universidad Austral de Chile, found that Chile's sandy beaches experienced significant and lasting changes due to the earthquake and tsunami.
These ecosystem changes depended strongly on the direction and amount of land level change, the type of shoreline and the degree of human alteration of the coast.
The most unexpected results came from uplifted sandy beaches where intertidal species which had been excluded by the presence of coastal armoring before the earthquake, rapidly recolonized the new habitats.
The data they collected also provides some insight into the ecological effects of human-introduced alterations to the coastal landscape, which could help inform related projects in the future.
Jaramillo E, Dugan JE, Hubbard DM, Melnick D, Manzano M, et al. (2012) Ecological Implications of Extreme Events: Footprints of the 2010 Earthquake along the Chilean Coast. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35348. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035348
Public Library of Science
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
First-of-its-kind study reveals surprising ecological effects of earthquake and tsunami
Santa Barbara CA (SPX) May 04, 2012
The reappearance of long-forgotten habitats and the resurgence of species unseen for years may not be among the expected effects of a natural disaster. Yet that's exactly what researchers have found on the sandy beaches of south central Chile, after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami in 2010. Their study also revealed a preview of the problems wrought by sea level rise - a major ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|