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Title: Evidence of extreme wave events from boulder deposits on the south-east coast of Malta (Central Mediterranean)
Authors: Causon Deguara, Joanna
Gauci, Ritienne
Keywords: Boulders -- Malta -- Marsaskala -- Żonqor Point
Coasts -- Earthquakes effects -- Malta
Tsunami damage -- Malta
Rogue waves -- Malta
Geology -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Causon Deguara, J., & Gauci, R. (2017). Evidence of extreme wave events from boulder deposits on the south-east coast of Malta (Central Mediterranean). Natural Hazards, 86(2), 543-568.
Abstract: Large boulder accumulations have been observed on various coasts bordering the Mediterranean and have been associated with extreme wave events such as powerful storms or tsunamis. This study provides an in-depth analysis of 430 boulder deposits, located along a 3.5 km stretch of rocky coast situated on the SE of the Maltese Islands. It includes a geomorphometric analysis of the observed boulders and use of numerical modelling to estimate wave height required to initiate boulder movement. Comparisons of aerial imagery over a period of 46 years have made it possible to identify boulder movement that could only be attributed to storm waves, given that no local tsunamigenic event has been recorded over this time period. Positioned in the central Mediterranean, the Maltese Islands are exposed to potential tsunamis generated by seismic activity associated with the Malta Escarpment, and the Calabrian and Hellenic arcs. Although imprints from historic tsunami impact cannot be excluded, results indicate that the area is exposed to strong storm waves that are capable of displacing some of the very large boulders observed on site.
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