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Author Topic: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?  (Read 7056 times)

@PaulKirton

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Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« on: 13/03/2011 22:30:02 »
@PaulKirton asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 13/03/2011 22:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #1 on: 14/03/2011 00:23:03 »
No

Let me explain.  For two very good and practical reasons   Firstly you cannot cancel an impulse input with another impulse unless you can guarantee they happen at the same instant and completely cancel each other out.  this would require a precise knowledge of the earthquake before it happened. Secondly the energy in the earthquake was vastly greater than any nuclear explosion ever conducted so a nuclear missile in this context is totally puny  a bit like a fly trying to stop a car on the motorway.  But they persist in trying   ;D
« Last Edit: 14/03/2011 23:54:35 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline yor_on

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Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #2 on: 14/03/2011 17:52:32 »
"Sir, Sir they are shooting at us !!!"

As if the Tsunami wasn't enough?
You want to start blasting the poor bug*rs too?

And that will help?

« Last Edit: 15/03/2011 00:34:07 by yor_on »
 

Offline syhprum

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Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #3 on: 15/03/2011 06:05:35 »
There has been worry in the past that underground nuclear test on small islands would produce tsunami but the fears have proved ground less.
The energy released by the largest nuclear devices is tiny compared to earthquakes.
 

Offline JMLCarter

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Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #4 on: 24/03/2011 11:14:00 »
Look at it this way. Can you stop a ripple in a pond by throwing another stone in?

The energy is not really there, and further power is nothing without control.

As an aside, for me, the scary thing is that large modern nuclear explosions, perhaps chained at intervals, could be used to create a small tsunami. The radiation would stay in the water at the point of explosion, but the energy would travel in the wave. This means you can direct radiation free energy from a(some) nuclear source(s) into a narrow surface wave that efficiently targets that zone between ground and 10m where we all live. The long term impact of radiation is one of the things that stops people from using nuclear weapons.

I don't think it could be done with conventional explosives - look up "project seal".
« Last Edit: 24/03/2011 21:38:26 by JMLCarter »
 

Offline th3_native american

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Re: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #5 on: 17/03/2012 08:02:18 »
how about 2 explosions? one underneath the sea floor, to set off an implosion. and the other at a great hight at the sea wall. like hitting someone in the balls and then hitting them in the face.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #6 on: 17/03/2012 20:17:46 »
Are you suggesting that we should hit mother Earth in the ** to then give her a good wallop in her ** ??
What do you think your own mother would say if you tried that!
 

Offline th3_native american

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Re: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #7 on: 17/03/2012 21:45:08 »
food for thought. ;)
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Re: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #8 on: 17/03/2012 23:36:44 »
There has been worry in the past that underground nuclear test on small islands would produce tsunami but the fears have proved ground less.
The energy released by the largest nuclear devices is tiny compared to earthquakes.

I think the worries are more at the fact that at many points across the Earths surface the tectonic plates are under a massive amount of stress and external influences might trigger a movement or at least preempt one by a few thousand years.  So it would be not the Nuclear explosion itself causing the Tsunami directly but would be a trigger.  The Earthquake that is going to happen tomorrow might only need a fish fart to set it off early! :)
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #9 on: 18/03/2012 00:11:44 »
Have you ever thought about what happens to fish if you drop a stick of dynamite in a lake?

If you could create an anti-tsunami with explosives, the devastation to marine life would be tremendous.

Also, one thinks of a Tsunami as a single wave, but I believe that it is actually a series of waves.  Like if you throw a rock in a pond, you don't get one wave, but a series of waves that radiate away from the rock in a circle. 

The circular patterns of wave propagation would make it difficult to fight waves with explosions.  Worst case, and  you would get an interference pattern that would be additive in some places.

Perhaps one option would be to build a massive offshore trench that could be evacuated...  then imploded when the Tsunami approaches.  But, it would have to be an enormous project.  And, it may only affect the first wave, unless displacing billions of gallons of water would locally lower the sea levels for a few hours, and thus deprive the tsunami from water. 

What about using underground explosions to trigger mini-quakes with the idea of relieving pressure?

However, I think the best option is to invest in early warning systems, and evacuation plans.  Save the people.  Replace the "stuff".  And, when flooding is an issue, don't put all the electrical systems of critical systems at ground level, or in the basements.
 

Offline th3_native american

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Re: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #10 on: 18/03/2012 01:54:16 »
Thank you, many great insights, but i guess the better answer would be to develop better warning and evacuation protocols. The implosion would of been a collosal build, would like to see it in action though.
 

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Re: Could you stop a tsunami with a nuclear missile?
« Reply #10 on: 18/03/2012 01:54:16 »

 

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