Buildings that Withstand Tsunami Wave Inundation

Published on June 17, 2019


For World Oceans Day, NSF promoted one of the exciting projects underway at the NHERI OSU experimental facility. NHERI researchers are using the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory wave tank to test the structural vulnerabilities of buildings in coastal areas that are prone to wave inundation from tsunamis and other storms.

NSF’s Discovery Files podcast and 4 Awesome Discoveries YouTube channel both highlight the project’s experiments that compare the performance of two types of buildings exposed to stronger and stronger waves — and the tests reveal that stilts may be key.

The project is #1661315, Collaborative Research: Wave, Surge, and Tsunami Overland Hazard, Loading and Structural Response for Developed Shorelines. Researchers from Oregon State University, Notre Dame University and the University of Southern California hope to improve coastal building design, mitigate coastal damage and enable communities to make better, risk-informed decisions.