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Achilleas Samaras

The scientific work done by a team lead by the civil engineer Achilleas Samaras concerning tsunami generation, propagation and coastal inundation in the Eastern Mediterranean received extensive publicity around the globe. The paper entitled "Simulation of tsunami generation, propagation and coastal inundation in the Eastern Mediterranean" was published in August 2015 in the international Ocean Science Journal. More specifically, the paper was chosen for presentation in a press release from the European Geosciences Union, from among all recent publications in all journals the Union publishes.

In addition to the scholar, the following people were also involved in preparing the study and writing up the paper: Prof. Theofanis Karabas from the Dept. of Civil Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and Prof. Renata Archetti from the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering of the University of Bologna.

The news was widely covered in the international and Greek media, while the Athens-Macedonian News Agency published an interview with Achilleas Samaras relating to the specific study. Using a simulation model, the research team considers that a powerful 7 Richter earthquake at open sea could cause a large tsunami which could inundate coastal areas in southern and south-western Crete to up to 5 m above sea level. In that case, a total of 3.5 km2 of dry land along Crete’s coast could possibly be underwater.

Achilleas Samaras was born in Thessaloniki in 1982 and studied civil engineering at AUTH which he left with a PhD summa cum laude in 2010. He taught as a visiting lecturer at the University of the Aegean (2011-2012) and since then has been engaged in post-doctoral research at the University of the Aegean. He has been involved in numerous research programmes in Greece and Italy, and his research interests focus, inter alia, on coastal engineering, tsunami and oil slick dynamics, hydraulic and port works, and the impact of climate change on the coastline.

"The Aegean and the maritime areas around Greece include a significant number of tsunami genesis zone," said the Scholar. “The most vulnerable areas will always be those located close to such zones, and those located a relatively short distance away where there are no interposed large or numerous natural ‘barriers’ such as islands or the mainland. In light of that, the islands of the Southern Aegean, the mainland and island shores of the Ionian and the shores of the Gulf of Corinth all fall into that category. Not all of Greece's coastal areas could be hit by a single tsunami, nor would all those hit be affected to the same degree".