Teach the Earth > Hazards > Tsunamis


The awesome power of tsunami waves has been demonstrated several times in the recent past. The resources linked below will aid faculty in helping their students understand the processes underpinning these events.

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Sources of Data and Information

Tsunami! (more info) A general introduction to tsunamis including information about the mechanisms of tsunami generation and propagation, the impact of tsunamis on humankind, and the Tsunami Warning System. Sections include information on what tsunami means, how earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and meteorites generate tsunamis, and what happens when a tsunami approaches and encounters land. Also included is information on past and recent tsunami activity, a fact sheet on what to do if threatened by a tsunami, as well as links to the Tsunami Warning System and related sites. Users can also find information on tsunami research centers and projects.

Tsunamis Database (more info) The tsunamis database allows users to find and compare tsunamis that have struck across the world based on their location, date, intensity, and the number of lives they have claimed

Tsunami Data and Information (more info) The Tsunami Database is a global digital database containing information on more than 2000 tsunamis maintained by the National Geophysical Data Center. This is an interactive site; the user is asked to enter search parameters such as date, latitude and longitude, cause of the tsunami - earthquake, landslide, volcano, or all combined - magnitude, and death. Information is then generated on tsunamis that match that data. The National Geophysical Data Center also maintains an historic slide set collection of tsunami damage.

Tsunami and Earthquake Research at the USGS (more info) This portal provides access to information on United States Geological Survey (USGS) research and resources on tsunamis and earthquakes. Materials include news and events in USGS tsunami research, an overview of the program, and basic information on the life of a tsunami. There are also links to individual research projects. The site also features an extensive set of tsunami animations of real and hypothetical events, and links to VRML models of real and hypothetical events.

International Tsunami Information Center (more info) This intergovernmental organization maintains and develops relationships with scientific research and academic organizations, civil defense agencies, and the general public in order to mitigate the hazards associated with tsunamis for all Pacific Ocean nations. They also maintain the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Surviving a Tsunami: Lessons from Chile, Hawaii, and Japan (more info) This report contains true stories that illustrate how to survive (and how not to survive) a tsunami. It is meant for people who live, work, or play along coasts that tsunamis may strike. The stories are personal accounts selected from interviews with people who survived a Pacific Ocean tsunami generated by the magnitude 9.5 earthquake that occurred along the coast of Chile on May 22, 1960. Important points include the necessity to heed all warnings (official and natural), head for higher ground, expect many waves, and not to attempt to recover personal belongings.

Tsunami Research Program (more info) This program of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory seeks to mitigate tsunami hazards in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Research and development activities focus on an integrated approach to improving tsunami warning and mitigation. The website contains realtime and modeled data from several monitoring stations in the Pacific Ocean. Animated simulations illustrate the modeling and forecasting of tsunamis. A collection of technical articles details the approaches used to model tsunamis.

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Tsunami resources from Teach the Earth include:

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