Lori

The pressure of deep-ocean sound waves could be used to stop tsunamis in their tracks, researchers have found, by dissipating their energy across wider areas and reducing the height and speed of these monster waves before they reach land.

Tsunamis - which can be caused by earthquakes, landslides, or any sudden release of energy underwater - are capable of devastating coastal regions when they hit land, and right now, there's not much we can do to stop them.

But mathematician Usama Kadri from the University of Cardiff in the UK thinks acoustic-gravity waves (AGWs) could be the solution.

Acoustic-gravity waves occur naturally in the oceans, cutting through the water at the speed of sound, and Kadri says controlling these waves could give us a way of reducing a tsunami's momentum.

"Up until now, little attention has been paid to trying to mitigate tsunamis and the potential of acoustic-gravity waves remains largely unexplored," says Kadri.

AGWs can stretch for hundreds of kilometres, and travel many thousands of metres, and it's thought that plankton (which can't swim themselves) rely on these waves to move around and find food.