November 9, 2012

Tsunami barrier wins first prize in the US

Filed under: Design,Nature,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:30 pm

Dutch engineering firm Van den Noort Innovations invented a passive tsunami breaker that won the American Wall Street Journal Technical Innovation Award in the Environment category.

Although all kinds of barriers are being used around the world today, many of them don’t work or interfere with shipping and marine life. This barrier automatically deploys when destructive waves approach, using the mass of the tsunami itself to break the waves. Since it only works when there’s a tsunami, it stays flat in the water when it’s not in use.

The “Twin-wing Tsunami Barrier” lays flat on the sea bed and is activated when waters recede from the shore in advance of destructive waves. The receding “negative tsunami” causes one wing of the barrier to swing up and trap a pool of water. As the “positive tsunami” wave approaches, a second, larger wing is deployed to block and reflect the wave back out to sea—all without human intervention.

Watch this English video:

(Links:,, photo: Van den Noort Innovations)