Costas Synolakis
Professor, Natural Hazards Management and Coastal Engineering 
Natural Hazards, Tsunami and Coastal Engineering Laboratory
Division III: Environmental Hydraulics and Geoenvironmental Engineering

Extended CV (pdf)



  • 1986: Ph.D.: Civil Engineering, California Institute of Technology.
  • 1979: M.Sc.: Civil Engineering, California Institute of Technology.
  • 1978: B.Sc.: Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology.

Research Interests

Natural Hazard Management and Coastal Engineering:

  • Tsunamis Long waves, wave climb prediction and wave induced floods
  • Erosion and protection of the coast from waves
  • Operational Oceanography and design of monitoring systems of the marine environment

Participation in Research Programs and Projects

  • ΑSTARTE Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction forTsunamis in Europe, 329,000€
  • Έρευνα χωροθέτησης Μαρίνας, κυματικών συνθηκών Ενετικού λιμένα Χανίων & εξέλιξης ακτογραμμής από την Πύλη της Άμμου μέχρι την Αγ. Κυριακή, 2011 – 2012, Χρηματοδότηση 125.000€, Δημοτικό Λιμενικό Ταμείο Χανίων.
  • Earthquake followed by Tsunami in the Mediterranean Sea - POSEIDON, 2009-2011, DG Environment, European Union, 390,000€.
  • RAPID: Tsunami Reconnaissance of the 27 October 2010 Mentawai, Sumatra tsunami, 2010 -2011, Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, National Science Foundation, $50,000. - RAPID: Tsunami Reconnaissance of the 27 February 2010 Chilean tsunami, 2010-2011, CMMS, $75,000.
  • Tsunami Risk Assessment and Strategies for European Region - TRANSFER, 2006 – 2009, European Commission Framework Programme 6 (FP6). EU 10/06 – 04/09, 290,000€.

Distinctions and Awards

  • Α Sergey Soloviev Medal on Natural Hazards of the European Geophysical Union, 2014
  • County of Los Angeles Award for Outstanding Contributions to Emergency Preparedness, 2002
  • Presidential Young Investigator, The White House, USA,1989-1994
  • Graduate Studies Scholarship, Public Benefit Foundation "Alexandros Onassis", 1981-1983

Recent Publications

  • Valle, B.L., Kalligeris, N., Findikakis, A.N., Okal, E.A., Melilla, L. & Synolakis, C.E., 2014, Plausible megathrust tsunamis in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Engin. Comput. Mech. 167, 99–105,    
  • Stefanakis, T.S., Contal, E., Vayatis, N., Dias, F., & Synolakis, C.E., 2014, Can small islands protect nearby coasts from tsunamis? An active experimental design approach, PROC. R. SOC. A. 20140575 doi:10.1098/rspa.2014.0575    
  • Kazolea, M., Dellis, A.J., Nikolos, I.K., Synolakis, C.E., 2012, An unstructured fi- nite volume numerical scheme for extended 2D Boussinesq–type equations. Coastal Engineering, 69, 42–66 DOI: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2012.05.008.    
  • Fritz, H.M. Phillips, D.A. Okayasu, A. , Shimozono, T., Liu, H.J , Mohammed, F., Skanavis, V., Synolakis, C.E, , Takahashi, T., 2012, The 2011 Japan tsunami current velocity measurements from survivor videos at Kesennuma Bay using LiDAR, Geophysical Research Letters, 39 L00G23 DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050686.    
  • Okal, E.A & Synolakis, C.E., 2008, Far-field tsunami hazard from mega-thrust earth- quakes in the Indian Ocean, Geophysical Journal International, 172, 995–1015.     Synolakis C.E., & Foteinis S., 2009, Choking on carbon emissions from greek academic paperwork, Nature, 461 (7261), 167–167.    
  • Borrero, J.C., Sieh, K., Shlieh, M., Synolakis, C.E., 2006, Tsunami inundation pre- dictions for Western Sumatra, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 1967319677.    
  • Synolakis C.E., Bernard E.N., Titov V.V., Kanoglu U., Gonzalez F., 2008, Validation and Verification of Tsunami Numerical Models, Pure and Applied Geophysics, 165 (11-12), 2197-2228.    – Synolakis, C.E., India must cooperate on tsunami warning systems, 2005, NATURE, 434 17–18.    
  • Liu, P.L–F., Lynett, P., Fernando, H., Jaffe, B.E., Fritz, H., Higman,B., Morton, R., Goff, J., Synolakis, C.E., 2005, Observations by the International Tsunami Survey Team in Sri Lanka, SCIENCE, 308, 1595.    
  • Liu, P.L–F., Wu, T-R,, Raichlen, F., Synolakis, C.E., Borrero, J, 2005, Runup and run- down generated by three–dimensional sliding masses, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 536, 107–144.    
  • Dengler L., Uslu B., Barberopoulou A., and Synolakis C.E., 2008, The vulnerability of Crescent City, California, to tsunamis generated by earthquakes in the Kuril Islands region of the Northwestern Pacific, Seismological Research Letters, 79 (5), 608-619.

Ph.D. Candidates

  • Nikos Maravelakis 
  • Aggeliki Dimoulia