OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

NOVA program to feature OSU Wave Lab

03/25/2005

CORVALLIS - The world's largest tsunami wave basin located at Oregon State University will be featured in a new NOVA television episode called "Wave That Shook the World," which airs on Tuesday, March 29, at 8 p.m. on most public television stations across the country.

The Tsunami Wave Basin is part of the OSU College of Engineering's ongoing research into developing better tsunami early-warning systems, safer evacuation routes, and buildings that are able withstand the impact of tsunamis.

The cavernous OSU facility, the subject of intense media interest since the Asian tsunami hit late last year, has been featured on CNN, the Today Show, ABC News, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and others, OSU officials said.

"I think (the OSU footage) makes an excellent end to the program," said NOVA producer Julie Crawford of WGBH in Boston.

Housed in the O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory on the OSU campus, the Tsunami Wave Basin has a large-stroke, directional wavemaker and advanced information technology capabilities. It enables OSU faculty, graduate students and other researchers around the world to create and study "model" tsunamis and develop systems that will save lives when the next tsunami hits.

Because tsunamis are extremely rare natural events and almost impossible to study as they occur, the OSU facility allows researchers to locate sensors, cameras and other monitoring devices in the basin to record data. Unique information technology allows experiments to be recorded, catalogued and replayed in slow motion via the internet so that researchers anywhere in the world can participate remotely in research underway at the OSU facility.

The Tsunami Wave Basin was constructed two years ago with a $4.8-million grant from the National Science Foundation. It is part of the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, a 15-university network aimed at advancing knowledge and technology to improve the nation's civil and mechanical infrastructure when subjected to earthquakes and tsunamis.

More information, including interactive web pages, about the NOVA tsunami television program can be found at the web at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova