Tsunamis in the Norwegian Sea and North Sea Caused by the Storegga Submarine Landslides

  • A. G. Dawson
  • D. Long
  • D. E. Smith
  • S. Shi
  • I. D. L. Foster
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 1)


Giant submarine landslides in the Storegga area on the continental slope west of Norway took place on at least three occassions during the Late Quaternary. This paper provides a summary of present knowledge regarding tsunamis generated as a result of the Storegga Slides. Most attention, however, is given to the tsunami generated by the Second Storegga Slide that took place circa 7,000 years ago. The tsunami generated by this landslide is believed to have struck most coastlines bordering the eastern North Atlantic. The paper summarises the geological evidence for the former occurrence of this tsunami. These results are compared with the results of recent mathematical modelling of the landslide and tsunami. Remarkably, there is relatively good agreement between estimates of tsunami run-up derived from the sedimentary evidence and run-up values obtained from the modelling experiments.


Tsunami Wave Tsunami Hazard Tsunami Deposit Beach Ridge Submarine Landslide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Atwater, B.F. and Yamaguchi, D.K. (1991) “Sudden, probably coseismic submergence of Holocene trees and grass in coastal Washington State”, Geology, 19, 706–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bugge, T. (1983) “Submarine slides on the Norwegian continental margin, with special emphasis on the Storegga area”, Continental Shelf and Petroleum Technology Research Institute A/S publ. 110, 152 p.Google Scholar
  3. Bugge, T., Befring, S., Belderson, R.H., Eidvin, T., Jansen, E., Kenyon, N., Holtedahl, H. and H.-P.Sejrup (1987) “A giant three-stage submarine slide off Norway”, Geo-Marine letters, 7, 191–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bugge, T., Belderson, R.H. and Kenyon, N.H. (1988) “The Storegga Slide”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A, 325, 357388.Google Scholar
  5. Dawson, A.G., Long, D. and Smith, D.E. (1988) “The Storegga Slides: evidence from eastern Scotland for a possible tsunami”, Marine Geology, 82, 271–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dawson, A.G., Foster, I.D.L., Shi, S., Smith, D.E. and D Long. (1991) “The identification of tsunami deposits in coastal sediment sequences”, Science of Tsunami Hazards, 9, 1, 73–82.Google Scholar
  7. Darienzo, M.E. and Peterson, C.D. (1990) “Episodic tectonic subsidence of Late Holocene salt marshes, northern Oregon central Cascadia margin”, Tectonics, 9, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Foster, I.D.L., Albon, A.J., Bardell, K.M., Fletcher, J.L., Jardine, T.C., Mothers, R.J., Pritchard, M.A. and S.E.Turner. (1991) “High energy coastal sedimentary deposits: an evaluation of depositional processes in southwest England”, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 16, 341–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hansen, R.A., Bungum, H. and A. Alsaker. (1989) “Three recent larger earthquakes offshore Norway”, Terra Nova, 1, 284–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hansom, J.D. and Briggs, D. J. (1991) “Sea-level change in Vestfirdir, north west Iceland”, In J.K. Maizels and C. Caseldine (eds.) Environmental Change in Iceland: Past, Present and Future, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp. 79–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harbitz, C. B. (1991) “Model simulations of tsunami generated by the Storegga slide”, Institute of Mathematics, University of Oslo, Series No. 5, 30 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Harbitz, C.B. (1992) “Model simulations of tsunamis generated by the Storegga Slides”, Marine Geology, 105, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Henry, F. and Murty, T.S. (in press) “Model Studies of the Effects of the Storegga Slide Tsunami”, Science of Tsunami Hazards.Google Scholar
  14. Jansen, E., Befring, S., Bugge, T., Eidvin, T., Holtedahl, H. and H.-P. Sejrup (1987) “Large submarine slides on the Norwegian continental margin: sediments, transport and timing”, Marine Geology, 78, 77–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Long, D., Smith, D.E. and Dawson, A.G. (1989) “A Holocene tsunami deposit in eastern Scotland”, Journal of Quaternary Science, 4, 61–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Long, D., Dawson, A.G. and D.E. Smith (1990) “Tsunami risk in northwestern Europe: a Holocene example”, Terra Nova, 1, 532–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Minoura, K. and Nakaya, S. (1991) “Traces of tsunami preserved in intertidal lacustrine and marsh deposits: some examples from Northeast Japan”, Journal of Geology, 99, 265–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shi, S., Dawson, A.G. and D.E.Smith (1991) “Sedimentology of a Holocene tsunami deposit”, Abstracts of the X111 Inernational Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA), Beijing, China, August 2–9, 1991, p. 329.Google Scholar
  19. Sissons, J.B. and Smith, D.E. (1965) “Peat bogs in a post-glacial sea and a buried raised beach in the western part of the Forth valley”, Scottish Journal of Geology, 1, 247–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Smith, D. E. and Dawson, A.G. (1990) “Tsunami waves in the North Sea”, New Scientist, 4th August 1990, 46–49.Google Scholar
  21. Smith, D.E., Cullingford, R.A. and B.A. Haggart. (1985) “A major coastal flood during the Holocene in eastern Scotland”, Eiszeitalter und Gegenwart 35, 109–118.Google Scholar
  22. Smith, D.E., Turbayne, S.C., Dawson, A.G. and K.R.Hickey (1991) “The temporal and spatial variability of major floods around European coasts”Google Scholar
  23. Final Report for European Commission, Contract EV4C 0047 UK (H) unpublished, 128pp.Google Scholar
  24. Svendsen, J.I. and Mangerud, J. (1990) “Sea-level changes and pollen stratigraphy on the outer coast of Sunmore, western Norway”, Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift, 70, 111–134.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Dawson
    • 1
  • D. Long
    • 2
  • D. E. Smith
    • 1
  • S. Shi
    • 1
  • I. D. L. Foster
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of GeographySchool of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Coventry UniversityCoventryUK
  2. 2.Marine Geology Research ProgrammeBritish Geological SurveyEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations