Feeds

back to article Supercomputer charts killer tsunami's course

The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has run simulations that show how the tsunami triggered by last Friday's 9.0 Miyagi earthquake in northeastern Japan propagated across the Pacific Ocean. It took a huge amount of energy to create what is now known as the Honshu tsunami, named for Japan's largest …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Boffin

Wow.

Just wow.

3
0

Well said.

That energy plot image is just terrifying.

3
0
Stop

Plates

"the massive movement of the Pacific plate pushing under the North American"

Umm, surely that would cause a quake off the coast of North America. As I understood it, this quake was caused by the interaction of the Pacific and Eurasian plates??????

0
0
Silver badge

They were "lucky"

300'000 people in Indonesia 2004... "Only" 10'000-15'000 people in Japan, with the earthquake right next to their shore.

1
0

Yes

Those Japanese planning laws aren't just red tape.

2
0
Silver badge

Somewhat. But even more so

the Japanese constantly plan for earthquakes and tsunamis. And their people calmly but diligently follow the planned responses when the alarms go off.

0
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Nature Rules: A little reminder that no matter what Mankind builds, Nature can knock it down

You have to wonder what the devastation have been like if this earthquake had occurred under the YangTze Three Gorges Dam.

The data overlay the Google globe is, to me, a far more dramatic presentation of the two and just shows how much power was discharged.

Makes you feel a little small in the scheme of things.

0
0
Bronze badge

Earthquakes and dams

Indeed the Chinese have good reason to be worried about dam failures.

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/aug1975.htm

The failure of the Banqiao dam (and 61 others) due to heavy rain lead to a death toll of over 85,000. of course this was not due to an earthquake, but it's easy to see that is a risk factor as well. Indeed some have suggested that it was actually the construction of a dam that triggered the magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Sichuan province in 2009 which killed 80,000. In that event the Chinese were lucky - at least one major dam came close to collapse and emergency measures had to be taken to lower the water levels. It's not just the failure of dam walls that are the danger - major landslips into reservoirs can top the retaining barriers.

If there was a catastrophic failure of the Three Gorges Dam then the consequences don't bear thinking about. However, to put it has to be remembered that China has a history of natural flooding - in 1887 flooding on the Yellow River is reckoned to have killed over 900,000. Indeed, when it comes to death tolls from natural and mand-made disasters, the Chinese are often the unfortunate holders, whether its floods, earthquakes, famines or mining.

0
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

A death toll of over 85,000 is tragic but should be considered that...

over 1,000,000 deaths by road kill occur annually.

2
0
Bronze badge

Maybe I'm unjustly unappreciative,

but couldn't we have seen something like this BEFORE the tsunami reached all of those places?

Having said that, there were indeed timely if not altogether necessary warnings, and also downright hysterical aerial video coverage of interestingly shaped gentle waves rolling into United States harbours and along a canal. Normal weather on its own includes more violent effects. When we'd previously seen very similar helicopter video of the sea washing into populated Japanese farmland and obliterating it, the Americans' coverage of their own experience of the tsunami was simply shameful.

0
0
Grenade

posting from America

eh, what tsunami??

As if.

If you were watching the same channel I was, then yes, you saw that crappy town in California get its boats pushed around. This was *interspersed* in the real events of the tsunami/quake/reactors which, by far, dominated the news. If there is no breaking update or change in what is being reported, then yes, our news shows will switch to less important coverage.

sheesh

0
0
Silver badge
Flame

like

>switch to less important coverage

Uh Winner. I got tiger blood baby. The official declaration western civ is now in decline.

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: Plates

Just to be picky, Japan's northern island of Honshu sits on a very far corner of the North American plate. The Pacific plate moves underneath it at that point, try to push the part of the plate that Honshu sits on to the west. The North American plate is huge and surrounds the top of the pacific plate, and the earthquake was caused when that part of couldn't take the stress of the push compared to the pull of the rest of the plate anymore and sprang back to the east over the top of the pacific plate by around 8ft.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Weird

See that little streamer of red shooting out straight into northern California? I can't help but wonder if Sony has an office there or something.

0
0

What about the pacific islands

First reports of the tsunami said the wave would swamp small pacific island communities where the land can be only a metre or so above sea level.

No news since. Have they been forgotten or were the forecasts overly pessimistic?

0
0
Bronze badge

Tuvalu

According to http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/mar/18/preparing-for-tsunami-tuvalu "The tsunami did not hit Tuvalu this time" - which I don't understand - although the population were evacuated intto shelters. I suspect the article is scientifically illil!terate.

http://www.gmagazine.com.au/features/2459/tuvalus-king-tides which might be an unsafe link in various ways, describes "annual king tides" that "flooded much of the island" in February - I suppose every February, but I'm not sure that the science is right in that one either.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.