Tsunami barrier

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A tsunami barrier is any barrier that prevents or deters the force of a tsunami wave.

Natural barriers[edit]

A report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests that the tsunami of 26 December 2004 caused less damage in the areas where natural barriers were present, such as mangroves, coral reefs or coastal vegetation. A Japanese study of this tsunami in Sri Lanka used satellite imagery modelling to establish the parameters of coastal resistance as a function of different types of trees.[1] Natural barriers, such as coral reefs and mangrove forests, prevent the spread of tsunamis and the flow of coastal waters and mitigated the flood and surge of water.[2]

Man-made barriers[edit]

Different designs of man-made tsunami barriers include building reefs and forests to above-ground and submerged seawalls. In 2005, India began planting casurina and coconut saplings on its coast as a natural barrier against future tsunamis like the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.[3] Studies have found that an offshore tsunami wall could reduce tsunami wave heights by up to 83%.[4]


  1. ^ [1] Satellite imagery and modelling show how forests cushion the impact of tsunamis
  2. ^ "Tsunami Barriers". Science NetLinks. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ "India builds tsunami barrier". News 24. January 14, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Design of a tsunami barrier to The North of Penang Island". Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Institutional Repository. 25 November 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2011.