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Magnitude 8.9 earthquake near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, 11 March 2011

Maps of epicenter location, aftershocks, historical seismicity, and more related to the 11 March 2011 earthquake off the coast of Japan.

Corrections of the Indian gauge data used for early assessments of the great 26 December 2004 earthquake

This resource is an abstract. This study re-evaluates slip velocity over the region of the December 26, 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. Using new data, the authors found that a mixed mode of slip occurred in the region, with half the total slip occurring seismically in less than five minutes after the rupture arrival, and the rest developing over the next 30 minutes.

Listening to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami quake

This resource is an abstract. This study tracks the movement of the rupture that caused the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami by comparing recordings of sound waves from five sensors located around the Indian Ocean. The data were used to triangulate the location of sound wave source. Results indicated that the rupture first moved northwest at 2.4 kilometers per second along the Sunda trench then slowed to 1.5 kilometers per second around 600 kilometers from the earthquake's epicenter. The author indicates that the slower speed of the rupture was unusual for an earthquake caused by a rupture close to the surface.

Estimating Hurricane-Force Winds

This resource provides an abstract: To better measure hurricane-force winds, the authors studied various types of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) wind retrieval schemes applied to the high winds observed in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan. They found that the newly-developed Cmod5 empirical geophysical model function (GMF) outperforms the commonly used Cmod4 GMF in analyzing these high winds. They suggest that continued analysis of SAR wind mapping under extreme wind conditions can be a useful tool for hurricane tracking and prediction.

Tsunami "shadows" may allow remote detection of tidal waves

This resource provides an abstract. This study investigates tsunami shadows, extended dark strips on the ocean surface before a tsunami. Such shadows are found to result from an air-sea interaction induced by tsunami-related atmospheric disturbances. Results suggest that remote surface water observations can be used to detect deep ocean tsunamis via their shadows and thus provide significantly more reliable and earlier warning before the large waves strike vulnerable shores.

Magma shakes up earthquake locations

Numerical models were employed to examine the relationships between the orientation of volcanotectonic faults and magma movement. It was found that the direction of movement on strike-slip faults should be opposite to that predicted on the basis of regional stresses. The results do not explain the location of some volcanotectonic earthquakes and that the locations of preexisting faults may be more important in influencing the location of these earthquakes.

How volcanic eruptions cause tsunamis

This study investigates the effect of pyroclastic flows on tsunami generation. The authors analyzed several possible mechanisms that occur when the particle rich flows encounter water and conclude that the volume and density of the basal flow has a close correlation with the wave's amplitude and wavelength, which can be used to model the water movement in lakes, bays and oceans.

Using GPS for earthquake imaging

This resource provides an abstract. The authors used a dense array of Global Positioning System (GPS) stations to model how the Earth slipped during the 2003 8.0-magnitude Tokachi-Oki earthquake near Japan. Results indicate that displacements of more than one meter occurred in approximately 20 seconds on Hokkaido. It was found that while satellite data are less precise than traditional seismic data, GPS has the advantage in measuring displacement since seismometers cannot distinguish between the ground's acceleration and rotation.

The Physics of Tsunamis

This site from the University of Washington includes a Quicktime movie that shows the propagation of the earthquake-generated 1960 Chilean tsunami across the Pacific Ocean. The page also describes the physics of tsunamis through several exploration questions.

Indian Ocean Tsunami Quicktime Animation

This Quicktime animation, by Dr. Steven Ward at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California - Santa Cruz, shows the tsunami's progress across the Indian Ocean. It also shows some water level graphs and wave run-up heights throughout the region.



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