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Geohazards revealed by myths in the Pacific: a study of Islands that have disappeared in Solomon Islands

Nunn, Patrick D. and Heorake, Tony and Tegu, Esther T. and Oloni, Bronwyn and Simeon, Kellington A. and Wini, Lysa and Usuramo, Sereana L.M. and Geraghty, Paul (2006) Geohazards revealed by myths in the Pacific: a study of Islands that have disappeared in Solomon Islands. South Pacific Studies, 27 (1). pp. 37-49. ISSN 0916-0752

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Part of the central Solomon Islands island arc is uncommonly vulnerable to a range of geohazards that are related to the southwards convergence of the Pacific Plate along the North Solomons Trench. Among these hazards is likely to be collapses of the flanks of islands resulting from the steep angles, perhaps triggered by earthquakes. A study of oral traditions in the area, principally on the islands Ulawa, Makira and Maramasike (eastern Malaita), targeted those relating to islands alleged to have disappeared. The most widespread tradition refers to Teonimanu that probably slipped down the sides of the wall of the nearby Cape Johnson Trench. Another tradition refers to the Ta’aluapuala group that may have, by analogy with geophysical observations, sunk in the area off northeast Maramasike. Other traditions may refer mostly to low sand islands washed away by large waves. It is clear that the study of myths has much to contribute to an understanding and assessment of geohazards in parts of the Pacific like Solomon Islands.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
Divisions: Office of the PVC (R&I)
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2006 01:24
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013 03:54

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