Self Closing Tsunami Barrier

The Self Closing Tsunami Barrier (SCTB) has been developed to disrupt and neutralize the tsunami flood wave, in both its negative and positive occurrence.

In its resting position, the barrier wings lie horizontal on the sea bed ready to swing up like a wall from their foundations as soon as the coastal waters retreat (negative tsunami) or, from the occurrence of a direct positive tsunami have hit.

On either side of the foundation, the barrier wing is instantly pushed up into a vertical position through the spoiler when a sudden, strong upcoming onshore or offshore ground stream starts to emerge. The barriers will always remain in their horizontal positions during normal flood and high tides. As the barrier wing is brought into its vertical position, it closes off the shore water effectively barring the flood wave. In a positive tsunami run, the wave will be reflected to the ocean. When there will be an overflow of flood water which will surge towards the shore, the speed of its movement will be greatly impaired by the unmoved coastal water mass which has been blocked by the barrier. The wave impact is thereby neutralized by the stalled coastal water body. Through its strong hinges, the barrier wings swing back and forth from their vertical to their horizontal positions.


The development of the SCTB took over 5 years. Three groups of students of the technical university HSZ in the Netherlands did all kind of research on Tsunamis. With this we could figure out all the characteristics of negative and positive tsunamis. In the water flow, laboratorial of the university we could stimulate tsunami waves and test out models of the tsunami barrier. On the computer, we could simulate and calculate the powers of the waves. With all this knowledge, we could design at the end the standard SCTB. To apply the SCTB before a coast the standard barrier will be adapt and designed for the specific location. 

The Twin-Wing Tsunami Barrier is winner of the Wall Street Journal Technical Innovation Award in 2012 and the Edison Silver Award in 2013.

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