March 7, 2008 from 16:00 to 18:00 (Montreal/Miami time) On location
For most of their propagation, tsunamis are linear dispersive waves whose speed is limited by the depth of the ocean and which can be regarded as a diffraction-decorated caustic in spacetime. For constant depth, uniform asymptotics gives a very accurate compact description of the tsunami profile generated by an arbitrary initial disturbance. Variations in depth can focus tsunamis onto cusped caustics, and this "singularity on a singularity" constitutes an unusual diffraction problem, whose solution indicates that focusing can amplify the tsunami energy by an order of magnitude.
AddressUdeM, Pav. André-Aisenstadt, 2920, ch. de la Tour, room 6214