The British Tsunami Presented at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, University of Central Lancashire, Tuesd...
My co-author: Dr Ted Bryant 2001, Cambridge University Press
 
 
Evidence of the 1607 flood 1 <ul><li>Contemporary historic pamphlets giving the: </li></ul><ul><li>date (20 th  Jan 1606 =...
Burnham 1607 tides (HW at 8.28am)
 
Evidence of the 1607 flood 2 <ul><li>Commemorative plaques and inscriptions in/on churches in South Wales and Somerset. </...
Evidence of the 1607 flood 2 Redwick Church, Gwent
 
Tsunami theory for the 1607 flood <ul><li>Some contradictory meteorological reports </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. “a violent sea ...
Extracts from  Lamentable Newes out of Monmouthshire Wave velocity Inland Penetration
Tsunami theory (cont.) <ul><li>Enigmatic physical features: </li></ul><ul><li>Sand layers possibly deposited by “storms” (...
 
Testing the tsunami theory: The 2004 Field Season <ul><li>Visit key locations mentioned in the pamphlets and gain backgrou...
Sampling the Rumney sand layer
Measuring boulder dimensions at Dunraven Bay
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Viewer’s letters examples <ul><li>2.8 million viewers watched the 1 st  April broadcast (over 5 million now for all broadc...
Friday 11 th  March 2011 Japan Tsunami
Our Publications <ul><li>Bryant, E. A., & Haslett, S. K., 2003. Was the AD 1607 coastal flooding event in the Severn Estua...
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The British Tsunami: the 1607 flood.

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Keynote Lecture by Professor Simon Haslett at the inaugural British Conference of Undergraduate Research at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, on Tuesday 19th April 2011. The lecture regards a catastrophic flood that occurred in the Bristol Channel in 1607 and has been theorised by Professor Haslett and Dr Ted Bryant as being caused by a tsunami. Simon Haslett is Professor of Physical Geography and Dean of the School of STEM at the University of Wales.

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  • Thanks Val, that's very interesting. Simon.
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  • At low tide off the beach beneath Marros, near Pendine, Carmarthenshire, can be seen the remains of a forest which local people say was destroyed by a tsunami some 400 years ago. A number of large tree trunks lie parallel to each other pointing directly to the shore. Examination of the ring structure of these trees would be an interesting project. Val Phillips.
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The British Tsunami: the 1607 flood.

  1. 1. The British Tsunami Presented at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, University of Central Lancashire, Tuesday 19 th April 2011 Professor Simon Haslett School of STEM, University of Wales With Dr Ted Bryant, University of Wollongong
  2. 2. My co-author: Dr Ted Bryant 2001, Cambridge University Press
  3. 5. Evidence of the 1607 flood 1 <ul><li>Contemporary historic pamphlets giving the: </li></ul><ul><li>date (20 th Jan 1606 = 30 th Jan 1607) </li></ul><ul><li>timing (“about nine in the morning” in Somerset) </li></ul><ul><li>details of damage (2000 deaths and great economic loss). </li></ul>
  4. 6. Burnham 1607 tides (HW at 8.28am)
  5. 8. Evidence of the 1607 flood 2 <ul><li>Commemorative plaques and inscriptions in/on churches in South Wales and Somerset. </li></ul>
  6. 9. Evidence of the 1607 flood 2 Redwick Church, Gwent
  7. 11. Tsunami theory for the 1607 flood <ul><li>Some contradictory meteorological reports </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. “a violent sea wind” (Camden, 1607) vs. “the morning … so fayrely and brightly spred” (Harleian Miscellany, 1607). </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptions of a “wave” reminiscent of a tsunami rather than a storm e.g. “wave’s furie”. </li></ul><ul><li>Extract from God’s warning to his people of England </li></ul>
  8. 12. Extracts from Lamentable Newes out of Monmouthshire Wave velocity Inland Penetration
  9. 13. Tsunami theory (cont.) <ul><li>Enigmatic physical features: </li></ul><ul><li>Sand layers possibly deposited by “storms” (e.g. Rumney and Hill; Allen, 1987, 1992). </li></ul><ul><li>Erosion of nearly all contemporary salt-marsh in the Severn Estuary (Allen, 1987). </li></ul><ul><li>Land erosion (e.g. English Stones, Gravel Banks and Oldbury, where seabanks were reset in the early C17th when “environmental change forced a substantial south-easterly retreat of the edge of the alluvial outcrop”, Allen & Fulford, 1992, pp. 96-97). </li></ul>
  10. 15. Testing the tsunami theory: The 2004 Field Season <ul><li>Visit key locations mentioned in the pamphlets and gain background detail. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine coastal landscapes and sample sedimentary sequences for tsunami signatures (e.g. Bryant, 2001). </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate enigmatic sites identified by Bryant & Haslett (2002) e.g. Rumney, Hill, Oldbury and collect samples. </li></ul><ul><li>Undertake laboratory analysis of samples. </li></ul>
  11. 16. Sampling the Rumney sand layer
  12. 17. Measuring boulder dimensions at Dunraven Bay
  13. 27. Viewer’s letters examples <ul><li>2.8 million viewers watched the 1 st April broadcast (over 5 million now for all broadcasts)! </li></ul><ul><li>Hundreds of letters and emails received. </li></ul><ul><li>Location of gravestones of 1607 victims. </li></ul><ul><li>Location of a mass grave of 1607 victims. </li></ul><ul><li>Other tsunami-like waves experienced in the Bristol Channel (on fine days). </li></ul><ul><li>Locations of unpublished sand layers. </li></ul><ul><li>Other academics and students initiating research in the area. </li></ul><ul><li>Made a follow-up BBC Timewatch programme ‘Britain’s Forgotten Floods’ (October 2008). </li></ul>
  14. 28. Friday 11 th March 2011 Japan Tsunami
  15. 29. Our Publications <ul><li>Bryant, E. A., & Haslett, S. K., 2003. Was the AD 1607 coastal flooding event in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel (UK) due to a tsunami? Archaeology in the Severn Estuary , 13 (for 2002), 163-167. </li></ul><ul><li>Haslett, S. K., & Bryant, E. A., 2005. The AD 1607 coastal flood in the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary: historical records from Devon and Cornwall. Archaeology in the Severn Estuary , 15 (for 2004), 81-89. </li></ul><ul><li>Bryant, E. A., & Haslett, S. K., 2007. Catastrophic wave erosion, Bristol Channel, United Kingdom: impact of tsunami? Journal of Geology , 115 , 253-269. </li></ul><ul><li>Haslett, S. K., & Bryant, E. A., 2008. Historic tsunami in the British Isles since AD 1000: a review. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences , 8 , 587-601. </li></ul>
  16. 30. Cause of a possible tsunami <ul><li>Submarine landslide off the continental slope west of the British Isles: our preferred cause, but discounted by others. </li></ul><ul><li>Earthquake: Roger Musson, BGS (2005, BBC2 Timewatch ), favours activity along a fault off south-west Ireland, which Bill McGuire (2005, New Scientist ) highlights. </li></ul><ul><li>Volcanic eruption/comet impact possible? </li></ul>
  17. 31. GEBCO Bathymetry
  18. 32. Earthquake hypothesis <ul><li>Professor Michael Disney (Cardiff University) published in The Times and Western Mail (5 th Jan 2005): </li></ul><ul><li>“ The sky was blue, the tide was high, there is a second-hand report of an earth tremor felt earlier that morning”. </li></ul>
  19. 33. From McGuire (2005, New Scientist)

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