Stories tagged tsunami

I love XKCD. How is it that a comic strip has such good technical explanations? Anyway, here you'll find a chart of the ionizing radiation dose a person can absorb from various sources. Check it out. You'll feel much smarter.

Check out this amazing map. It shows the number of foreshocks, the big quake, and aftershocks, as well their location, date/time, depth, and magnitude. Stick with it: it starts off slowly, but it gets pretty horrifyingly spectacular.

While much of the Pacific Rim area was on a tsunami alert this weekend in the wake of the earthquake in Chile, the harbor of Long Beach experienced something much different on Saturday. The harbor had a huge tidal drop occur in just a matter of minutes, grounding many sailboats and yachts and closing the harbor to large sea vessels for a while. Here's a complete video report:

The other amazing thing, nothing anywhere near this drastic happened in any other California harbors the same day.

This article in Science News suggests that seven immense chunks of coral found more than 100 yards from the beach on a Tongan Island could be the world’s largest tsunami debris. Each of the chunks of coral weigh more than 46 metric tons each with the largest being three stories tall and 1,200 metric tons.

Check out a slide show of the coral chunks here.

Jan
15
2008

That's no hydrothermal explosion: The water blasting from Castle Geyser at Yellowstone National Park is a pop-gun shot compared to the mile-high hydrothermal explosion that rocked the park some 14,000 years ago.
That's no hydrothermal explosion: The water blasting from Castle Geyser at Yellowstone National Park is a pop-gun shot compared to the mile-high hydrothermal explosion that rocked the park some 14,000 years ago.Courtesy Wikipedia
It seems like every few weeks I run into more evidence that Yellowstone has, or will again be, the most violent place on Earth.

Scientists this past weekend at a seminar at our national park jewel heard that some 13,000 years ago, an earthquake created the largest-ever hydrothermal explosion, firing off tsunami-size waves that rumbled out from Lake Yellowstone for miles. Debris from the impact could be found as far as 18 miles away and the steam column from the blast may have risen up has high as a mile.

The result of that explosion was the Mary Bay crater, which stretches across the north end of the lake. The massive water eruption may have released as much as 77 million cubic feet of water. Such explosions happen when hot water below the lake’s bottom suddenly flashes into steam and bursts upwards.

Since that time, researchers also figure there have been around 20 smaller hydrothermal explosions around Yellowstone, leaving behind craters larger than a football field. Even smaller explosions happen on a much more frequent basis, but rarely when people are around or causing significant damage. One such blast in 1989 sent rock and debris 200 feet into the air.

And while bloggers and cable TV stations like to make a big deal about Yellowstone being a super volcano ready to blow again, researchers say it’s much more likely that another hydrothermal explosion will alter the park’s landscape first.

What do you think about all of this? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Nov
17
2006

Noah's Ark: by Edward Hicks
Noah's Ark: by Edward Hicks

Mega-tsunami

What happens when a giant meteor lands in the ocean? Not only would there be a big splash, but heat and energy equal to a multi-megaton bomb would melt rock, generate steam and wind, and create a mega-tsunami. The mega-tsunami would be at least 600 feet high. Such a wave would carry ocean sediments several miles inland creating formations called chevrons.

Google maps reveal new craters

Using google-maps scientists are finding many such chevrons. Two chevrons found over four miles inland near Carpentaria in north central Australia both pointed north into the ocean. Using surface altimetry data from satellites, two craters were found on the ocean bottom that contained melted rocks and magnetic spheres with fractures and textures characteristic of a cosmic impact.

“We found diatoms fused to tektites,” a glassy substance formed by meteors. The molten glass and shattered rocks could not be produced by anything other than an impact."

New evidence indicates meteor strike around time of Noah

Last August scientists collected samples from four huge chevrons in Madegascar.

Last month, Dee Breger, director of microscopy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, looked at the samples under a scanning electron microscope and found benthic foraminifera, tiny fossils from the ocean floor, sprinkled throughout. Her close-ups revealed splashes of iron, nickel and chrome fused to the fossils.
About 900 miles southeast from the Madagascar chevrons, in deep ocean, is Burckle crater, which Dr. Abbott discovered last year. Although its sediments have not been directly sampled, cores from the area contain high levels of nickel and magnetic components associated with impact ejecta.
Burckle crater has not been dated, but Dr. Abbott estimates that it is 4,500 to 5,000 years old.

Mythology dates flood to Solar eclipse in 2807 B.C.

An environmental archaeologist, Dr. Masse, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico analyzed 175 flood myths from around the world, and tried to relate them to known and accurately dated natural events like solar eclipses and volcanic eruptions. Fourteen flood myths specifically mention a full solar eclipse, which could have been the one that occurred in May 2807 B.C.
Half the myths talk of a torrential downpour. A third talks of a tsunami. Worldwide they describe hurricane force winds and darkness during the storm. All of these could come from a metior strike and mega-tsunami.

Source article from New York Times.

May
03
2006

Tsunami warnings have been issued for Fiji and New Zealand after a earthquake of 7.8 magnitude shook the Pacific Ocean.

The quake's epicenter was about 153 miles off the coast of Tonga.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued the alert for Tonga, Niue, American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, and Wallis-Futuna.

If a tsunami does occur, it could start to affect the islands by as early as 12:15pm (Minnesota time).

We'll post updates...

Jun
08
2005

Or there will be, next year. Japanese researchers plan to drill a hole more than four miles through the Earth's rocky crust to reach the molten mantle below. This will be quite a feat — the deepest hole to date is less than a mile-and-a-half. And, just to make things interesting, they're going to do it from a boat floating a mile and a half above the sea floor. (That's where the Earth's crust is the thinnest.)

The project has several goals. They hope to learn more about undersea earthquakes, like the one that caused the Indian Ocean tsunami. They will also study the rocks and mud for records of climate change. And they will look for microbes and other signs of life in this extreme environment.