Renowned Geophysicist explains Japan tsunami

If you’re looking for an easy to understand scientific explanation about the formation of the devastating quake and tsunami that devastated Japan this Friday, you’d better read Dr. John Ebel‘s theory from below, Professor of geophysics and director of Weston Observatory of Boston College.

“We had an earthquake caused by the Pacific Ocean plate sliding under the Asian plate and as it slides under the Asian plate is pushed up…any time you move the ocean floor up or down you induce a tsunami in the ocean. Tsunamis travel fast when the ocean is deep they travel slowly when the ocean is shallow. When the ocean is deep, the wave spreads out so you have maybe a foot high wave that’s spread out hundreds of miles and it’s traveling at literally 500 miles an hour.”

Dr. Ebel says at those speeds land masses close to the epicenter like the Japanese island of Honshu had only minutes to prepare where as Hawaii and the west coast had hours. “When you get to islands like Hawaii which are thousands of miles away you have hours and hours of warning…they had about 6 or 8 hours of warning.”

Just like a single rain drop spreads across a pond a tsunami circumnavigates the globe. “Tide gages for instance in Mobile Bay and on the Gulf coast will register a very small recording probably tonight or early tomorrow morning from this tsunami. It will spread through all the ocean basins.”

On the same wavelength, Dr. Ebel says that it’s very possible strong aftershocks could be experienced within the next few days or weeks. Some could even be large enough that another small tsunami is generated…

2 thoughts on “Renowned Geophysicist explains Japan tsunami

  1. S.Prakash

    Dear and Respected Profs.,

    Please permit me to share my findings and the timely warning to the world of seismologists but continuously neglected and ignored . I am ready to submit my findings for the entire regions of the world for the year 2010. It is my request.

    Scientists and seismologists have the mind set that there have no connection between the regional weather changes and the respective regional quakes.However, every individual regional weather changes are followed by the specific regional individual quakes.It is quite possible to predicts quakes scientifically and precisely based on the regional weather changes.The M8.9 have not come any all of a sudden but it had the process since Jan.1 this year. I warned twice this catastrophe event – one on Feb28 (M>5) and another on March 8 (M>6) but no scientists and seismologists belonged to countries badly affected by quakes heed my appeal. My latest warning on Mar.8 in response to the 1000mm rain in Science garden in Luzon, northern Philippines.

    With the series of recorded weather changes – heavy rain in Japan, South Korea and Northern Philippines, heaviest snowfall in more than a century on South Korea’s east coast and in Japan and the explosion of Kirishima Volcano, Kyushu (Location: 31.931°N, 130.864°E), I continuously warned the Seismologists worldwide about the possibilities of strong quakes with the specific location eastern coast of Honshu and north of Philippines. But no one take interest.

    The onset of any regional weather changes set a time scale of advancing the regional quakes usually within 15 to 30 days. However, in a very few cases the time scales and magnitude do vary substantially as a consequence of local site geology and other factors. For other regions too I warned timely, but no one take care.

    Here I just attached the tabulation of the list of series of recorded weather changes around Honshu , Japan that culminated into devastating quakes and tsunami.

    1. Jan.1, 2011 Heavy rain and snow in Japan

    Minami Torishima (24 18N 153 58E 92mm); Matsue(35 27N 133 04E ); Tottori(35 29N 134 14E)
    2. Snow storm hits Japan
    Jan 2, 2011
    TOTTORI, Japan, Jan. 1 (UPI) — A New Year’s Eve snowstorm blanketed parts of Japan with up to 43 inches of snow whipped by winds up to 63 mph89 centimeters (35 inches) of snow had piled up in Yonago as of 5 a.m. Saturday, the most since measurements were started in 1940.
    More than 100 centimeters (about 43 inches) had accumulated in parts of Aomori, Yamagata and Niigata prefectures with similar amounts expected in the Tohoku region.
    Winds of more than 100 kph (63mph) were registered in parts of Kagoshima and Aomori prefectures. The winds also were expected to push waves near 20 feet high in western Japan and close to 30 feet in some parts of the north.
    3. Jan.28, 2011 Japanese Volcano Erupts
    Kirishima Volcano, Kyushu (Location: 31.931°N, 130.864°E) site of the currently active Shinmoedake crater, straddles the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures in southern Kyushu, Japan. Kyushu is the most southerly main island of Japan.
    4. Feb 12,2011 Heavy rain in DPR Korea
    Changjon, (38 44N 128 11E 341mm); Gangneung (37 45N 128 54E 61 mm); Uljin (36 59N 129 25E 56 mm) and Donghae Radar (37 30N 129 08E 50.3 mm)

    5. Feb.14, 2011, heaviest snowfall in South Korea:

    The heaviest snowfall in more than a century on South Korea’s east coast. The worst weather has been in Gangwon province. Weather experts say there will be more snowfall in the area in the coming hours.January was the coldest since the 1960s.

    In Gangwon on the eastern coast, one city recorded 80cm (2.6 feet) of snow in a single day – the heaviest fall in 24 hours since records began there back in 1911.

    6. Feb.18, 2011 Heavy rain in Tokyo ,Japan(35 41N 139 46E 76.5 mm)
    7. Feb.24, 2011 Heavy rain in Japan, Oshima (34 45N 139 22E 64mm.
    8. Feb.28, 2011 Heavy rain in:
    South Korea
    Seosan (36 46N 126 30E 51.5 mm); Icheon(37 16N 127 29E56 mm);Yeosu(34 44N 127 45E 79 mm);Gunsan
    (35 59N 126 42E 57 mm);(35.06N 127.23E 53 mm) and (35.43N 126.70E 56 mm)Masan (35 11N 128 34E 54 mm) ,Tongyeong(34 50N 128 26E 61 mm );Jinju(35 12N 128 07E 67 mm) and Seongsan (33 23N 126 52E83 mm)
    Japan: Izuhara (34 12N 129 18E 55 mm)

    Feb.28,2011, Heavy rain in Japan :
    Nagoya(35 10N 136 58E 54 mm); Omaezaki(34 36N 138 13E 160 mm); Oshima (34 45N 139 22E 88 mm) and Hachijojima (33 06N 139 47E 55 mm)

    9. March 8, 2011 Philippines (North)
    Science Garden (14 38N 121 01E 999.8mm)

    March 2-8, 2011 Volcanic Eruption:
    Bulusan Luzon 12.770°N, 124.05°E.

    At least in this juncture, I request the world of seismologists consider to study the relation that ‘Regional Weather Changes are Precursor to the Regional Quakes’.In the entire regions of the world, each and every form of regional weather changes are followed by respective regional quakes in a repeatable manner and the happenings of earthquakes in a given region have a recurrent pattern.

    Just a week long careful analysis is enough for the scientists and seismologists to understand the relation that exist between the regional weather changes and the subsequent regional quakes.

    With Thanks&Regards
    Super Quality Services
    95, Palakkarai Main Road, Tiruchi
    Tamilnadu-620001, INDIA

  2. Pingback: Disturbing time-lapse animation shows Japan earthquakes | ZME Science

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