japanese tsunami of 2011

by: Brody Dizona

How Tsunamis Are Caused

Most major tsunamis are caused by earthquakes on fault lines under or close to the ocean. A sudden upward or downward shift in the ocean floor acts like a giant paddle, pushing away an immense volume of the surrounding water. A series of waves - some times hundreds of miles apart - radiates through the ocean.

speeds and sizes of tsunamis

A tsunami can travel across the ocean at speeds of up to 500mph (800km/h), which is as fast as a jet air craft. As it gets close to the coastline, the tsunami slows down, but it rapidly rears up to a great height. By the time it reaches the shore the wave can reach a height of a 100 ft (30m) or more. The force of a tsunami can reduce buildings to rubble and can carry boats and boulders several miles inland

pics of tsunamis

the 2011 earthquake and tsunami

The Japanese Tsunami

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011, also called the great sendi earthquake was a severe natural disaster that occurred in northeastern japan on March 11, 2011.The event began with a powerful 9.0 earthquake off the northeastern coast of Honshu, Japan's main island, which caused widespread damage on land and initiated a series of large tsunami waves that devastated many coastal areas of the country, most noteably in the Tohoku region (Northeastern Honshu). The tsunami also instigated a major nuclear accident at a power station along the coast.

The Nuclear Disaster

In Japan, residents are still recovering from the nuclear disaster. Radioactive water was recently discovered leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which suffered a level 7 nuclear meltdown after the tsunami. Japan relies on nuclear power, and many of the countries nuclear reactors remain closed because of stricter seismic safety standards since the earthquake. Four years after quake, about 230,000 people lost their homes and were still living in temporary housing.

The Aftermath of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Casualties from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan were 30,000. More than 125,000 buildings have been washed away or were seriously damaged; property damage is estimated to be more than 310 billion. Japan is used to dealing with seismic hazards but the 2011 great East Japan earthquake and tsunami were unusual even to Japan. History will record this event as among the world's worst natural disasters but geoscience textbooks will discuss it because of certain rare characteristics.

How It Relates to the Rock Cycle

The tsunami waves drag the sediment into Japan and as they bring more, the tsunami waves compact the sediment which is turn creates sedimentary rocks.