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Tsunami visualization

  • Tsunami visualization

    2:06

    In 2006 Animation Research Ltd provided visualizations of several 'Mega Disasters' for National Geographic Television's 6 part tv series of the same name. In TSUNAMI, we generated a mega disaster scenario for Mauna Loa volcano causing a tsunami that devastates Honolulu. Read more about us at and

  • NOAA Tsunami Animation

    1:28

    Public Domain - please credit NOAA
    Format: MP4 1280x720
    Download link:
    Animation showing the generation of a tsunami due to seismic activity on the sea floor. The resulting wave propagates across the ocean surface and inundates the coast.

  • Formation of Tsunami

    1:54

    This simulation shows the formation of tsunami waves and their characteristics as they approach land.

  • JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA VISUALIZATION

    1:01

    Produced by 422 South. A data visualization showing the epicentres of Japanese Earthquakes magnitude 4 + during 2011- including the devastating Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The bigger the event the brighter the dot, and the louder the audio pop.

  • Tsunami Model Visualization for Suva, Fiji

    4:09

    This visualization demonstrates the use of computer modeling, data and information resources, and visualization techniques to simulate the evolution of a tsunami wave on modern-day Suva, Fiji, based on the 1953 tsunamigenic event. (Note: This video does not have audio.)

  • Tsunami Height Comparison

    3:27

    In this 3rd episode, we compare the sizes of tsunamis, from the smallest to the biggest ones. Starting from the smallest yet deadliest Tsunami, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that claimed over 200,000 lives, all the way to Lituya Bay Mega Tsunami over 1000 feet tall, and even beyond that!

    Music Used: Kevin Macload - Rhinos

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  • Nuuanu Mega Tsunami.mov

    5:11

    1.5 Million Years ago, a 5000 cubic km piece of NE Oahu Hawaii fell into the sea. This computer simulation models a similar event on today's topography. A mega tsunami over 500 meters tall is produced. Run ups on North America exceed 100 m.

  • Tsunami caused by earthquakes

    2:47

    Tsunami are waves caused by sudden movement of the ocean due to earthquakes, landslides on the sea floor, land slumping into the ocean, large volcanic eruptions or meteorite impact in the ocean. Most tsunami are caused by large earthquakes on the sea floor when slabs of rock move past each other suddenly, causing the overlying water to move. The resulting waves move away from the source of the earthquake event. This animation shows how tsunamis are caused by large earthquakes.

  • Tsunami visualization

    2:06

  • TSUNAMI VISUALIZATION AFTER EARTHQUAKE 365 AD - MOST TSUNAMI PREDICTION MODEL

    1:05

  • Visualize TSUNAMI inundation zone

    1:54

    User can opt for the feature which enables simulation of TSUNAMI inundation
    zone for ALV series.(Optional feature) With CV Image(CV: Camera Vector),
    User can obtain the height information, water level (ex. in meters) on the
    fly in the geospatial video window. This feature allows a User to simulate
    and to understand the effect of inundation during natural calamities such as
    Tsunami, typhoons etc.

  • 2004 tsunami

    11:44

  • Tsunami caused by volcanic sources

    2:43

    Tsunami are waves caused by sudden movement of the ocean due to earthquakes, landslides on the sea floor, land slumping into the ocean, large volcanic eruptions or meteorite impact in the ocean. Tsunami initiated by volcanic eruptions is less common than tsunami caused by large earthquakes. This animation shows a tsunami generated following a volcanic eruption.

  • Japan Sendai Earthquake And Tsunami Visualization of Pacific Ocean, 11/03/2011

    1:01

    2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami:

    The 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami (東北地方太平洋沖地震, Tōhoku Chihō Taiheiyō- oki Jishin, literally Tōhoku region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake) was a 9.1-magnitude megathrust earthquake that created tsunami waves of up to 10 metres (33 ft). It was measured at 7 on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale in the northern Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, with an initially reported magnitude of 7.9, while the JMA's tsunami warning listed the magnitude as 8.4, later updated to 8.9. The earthquake focus was reported to be off the Oshika Peninsula, the east coast of Tōhoku on 11 March 2011, at 05:46 UTC (14:46 local time) at a depth of 24.4 kilometres (15.2 mi). News reports by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) indicate that at least 1000 people have died and another 88,000 are missing in six different prefectures, although it is feared the total number of dead could be far higher.

    The magnitude of 8.9 made it the largest earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history, and the seventh largest in the world since records began. It is thought to have been the largest earthquake to have struck Japan in the last 1,200 years.

    Tsunami:

    The earthquake triggered a tsunami warning for Japan's Pacific coast and at least 20 countries, including the entire Pacific coast of North and South America from Alaska to Chile. The tsunami warning issued by Japan was the most serious on its warning scale, implying that the wave was expected to be 10 meters (33 ft) high. According to Kyodo news agency, a wave that high was observed at 3:55pm JST flooding Sendai Airport, which is located near the coast of Miyagi prefecture, with waves sweeping aside cars and flooding various buildings as they traveled inland. Kyodo news agency has reported a four-meter-(13 ft) high tsunami hitting Iwate Prefecture in Japan. A 0.5-meter (20 in)-high wave hit Japan's northern coast. Reports indicate that the wall of water was higher than some Pacific islands and the danger of tsunami flooding prompted warnings for almost the entire Pacific basin.

    In a statement to the press, an official from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said: An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours.

    Nuclear Power Plants:

    According to the Associated Press, Japan has declared a state of emergency following the failure of the cooling system at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Officials say there has been no leak of radiation or radioactive material.

    One facility in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the reactor cooling system after it was shut down and emergency power supply failed but there was no radiation leak. Past midnight local time, it was reported that The Tokyo Electric Power Company was considering venting out superhot gas from the reactor vessel into the atmosphere, which could result in the release of radioactives. The core of the reactor remains hot however, so cooling is still required. Unnamed officials at the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported that due to lack of electricity the emergency cooling system is currently powered by a battery, which lasts about eight hours. Another six batteries have been secured, and the government may use military helicopters to fly them in. A precautionary state of emergency has been declared. More than 2,000 residents living within a 3-kilometer (1.9 mi) radius of the plant were evacuated, while residents living within a zone 3 to 10 kilometers (1.9 to 6.2 mi) away were asked to evacuate.

    Japanese officials have announced their intentions to vent slightly radioactive gas to relieve pressure within the reactor vessel.

  • Tsunami Krakatoa.mov

    4:02

    This movie shows a physics-based computer simulation of the 1883 Krakatoa eruption, lateral blast, pyroclastic flow and tsunami.
    For more tsunami information visit

  • Tsunami Animation: Tohoku, Japan 2011

    2:44

    This animation shows how PTWC's real-time tsunami forecast model, RIFT, predicts the behavior of the tsunami following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake offshore of the Tōhoku-Oki region, Japan, on 11 March 2011. This version uses the USGS finite fault model (link below) as the source mechanism for the tsunami model, therefore the animation begins in slow motion to show the details of how the tsunami starts. The animation covers a 48-hour period finishing with an energy map showing the forecasted maximum heights of open-ocean tsunami waves over that time period, followed with the forecasted tsunami runup on the coasts. If you look carefully you will see not only the waves leaving Japan, but also the reflected waves leaving South America after about 23 hours.

    For a flat earth version, please see:

    For the earthquake and its aftershocks, please see:

    Finite fault model:

  • Experience the Disaster that Wiped Out Dinosaurs

    4:37

    When the dinosaur-killing asteroid struck Earth, most of the impact energy was directed outwards and upwards into space. Only 1% of the force traveled down into the ground, but it was enough to ring the planet like a bell and wipeout species around the globe. Only those creatures able to seek shelter from the intense heat on the surface survived.

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    Check out SCI2 for infinitely awesome science videos. Every day.

  • Chicxulub Tsunami.mov

    4:08

    This movie shows a physics-based computer simulation of the tsunami generated by
    the impact of the Chicxulub asteroid 65 million years ago. This asteroid impact is thought to responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. What if this tsunami happened today?

    For more tsunami and natural hazard information visit

  • Discovery Channel - Large Asteroid Impact Simulation

    4:46

    ● Discovery Channel - Large Asteroid Impact Simulation (2008).

    Earth was born as a result of repeated asteroid collisions, the moon was created by a single giant impact event. Then, Earth's size attracted huge meteorites, which slammed into it, causing super-high-temperature rock vapour to cover the entire surface and evaporate all ocean water. The earliest life-forms survived such infernal events by escaping deep into the ground, miraculously emerging again and again. The Earth has gone through innumerable catastrophic events, and life has survived by acquiring new abilities to live through each crisis. Humans are part of the grand history of life's evolution, which has been closely intertwined with repeated cataclysmic events.

    Learn what would happen if an asteroid hit the Earth with this detailed Large Asteroid Impact Simulation.
    An asteroid with a diameter of 500 km. Destination: The Pacific Ocean. The impact peels the 10 km crust off the surface. The shockwave travels at hypersonic speeds. Debris is blasted across into low Earth orbit, and returns to destroy the surface of the Earth. The firestorm encircles the Earth, vaporizing all life in its way. Within one day, the surface of the Earth is uninhabitable. The evidence shows that this has happened at least six times in Earth's history.
    Music of Pink Floyd The Great Gig in the Sky (1973).

    0:12 An asteroid with a diameter of 500 km.
    0:47 Destination: The Pacific Ocean.
    1:17 The impact peels the 10 km crust off the surface.
    1:28 The shockwave travels at hypersonic speeds.
    1:53 Debris is blasted across into low Earth orbit,
    2:11 and returns to destroy the surface of the Earth.
    2:55 The firestorm encircles the Earth,
    3:05 vaporizing all life in its way.
    3:34 Within one day, the surface of the Earth is uninhabitable.
    4:19 The evidence shows that this has happened at least six times in Earth's history.


    ● Discovery Channel - Simulazione di impatto con un asteroide di grandi dimensioni (2008).

    La Terra è nata a seguito di ripetute collisioni di asteroidi, la luna è stata creata da un singolo impatto gigantesco. Poi, le dimensioni della Terra hanno attratto enormi meteoriti, che si sono schiantate su di essa, causando vapori di roccia ad altissima temperatura che hanno ricoperto l'intera superficie e fatto evaporare tutta l'acqua dell'oceano. Le prime forme di vita sono sopravvissute a tali eventi infernali fuggendo in profondità nel terreno, emergendo miracolosamente ancora e ancora. La Terra è passata attraverso innumerevoli eventi catastrofici, e la vita è sopravvissuta attraverso l'acquisizione di nuove capacità per vivere attraverso ogni crisi. Gli esseri umani sono parte della grande storia dell'evoluzione della vita, che è stata strettamente intrecciata con ripetuti eventi catastrofici.

    Apprendi che cosa accadrebbe se un asteroide colpisse la Terra, con questa dettagliata Simulazione di impatto con un asteroide di grandi dimensioni.
    Un asteroide con un diametro di 500 km. Destinazione: l'Oceano Pacifico. L'impatto spella i 10 km di crosta via dalla superficie. L'onda d'urto viaggia a velocità ipersonica. I detriti vengono scagliati tutti in orbita terrestre bassa, e ritornano per distruggere la superficie della Terra. La tempesta di fuoco circonda la Terra, vaporizzando tutta la vita in questo modo. Entro un giorno, la superficie della Terra è inabitabile. Le prove dimostrano che questo è avvenuto almeno sei volte nella storia della Terra.
    Musica dei Pink Floyd The Great Gig in the Sky (1973).

    0:12 Un asteroide con un diametro di 500 km.
    0:47 Destinazione: l'Oceano Pacifico.
    1:17 L'impatto spella i 10 km di crosta via dalla superficie.
    1:28 L'onda d'urto viaggia a velocità ipersonica.
    1:53 I detriti vengono scagliati tutti in orbita terrestre bassa,
    2:11 e ritornano per distruggere la superficie della Terra.
    2:55 La tempesta di fuoco circonda la Terra,
    3:05 vaporizzando tutta la vita in questo modo.
    3:34 Entro un giorno, la superficie della Terra è inabitabile.
    4:19 Le prove dimostrano che questo è avvenuto almeno sei volte nella storia della Terra.


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  • The 2004 Indonesia Tsunami

    40

    On December 26, 2004 a 9.1 magnitude earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra generated a massive tsunami that propagated across the planet. This simulation, using the NOAA MOST model for predicting how and when tsunamis will travel across the ocean, shows the series of waves generated by the tectonic megathrust. Bright colors indicate positive wave heights, dark colors are the troughs, or depressions in the sea surface. When in deep water, tsunami waves move very quickly (up to 1,000 kph) and with a low wave height. As they approach the coast and the depth of the ocean decreases, the wave slows down and mounds up. In this case, the maximum wave height exceeded 30m in some locations. It is estimated that over 250,000 people died in the event. Notice how the ocean floor topography (bathymetry) interacts with the wave, causing rippling, and bending the direction of movement.

  • This survival pod can protect you during a tsunami

    1:31

    The Survival Capsule was designed to save your life during a tsunami, earthquake, hurricane, or another natural disaster.

    It’s made from aircraft grade aluminium so it can withstand high temperatures and large shocks

    There’s space to store five days worth of provisions inside of the airtight capsule.

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    Business Insider UK is the largest business news site for British readers and viewers in the UK. Our mission: to tell you all you need to know about the big world around you. The BI UK Video team focuses on business, technology, strategy, and culture with an emphasis on unique storytelling and data that appeals to the next generation of leaders.

  • CNN Breaking News: Japans Earthquake and Tsunami

    4:00

    CNN's Rosemary Church talks to Matt Alt, who experienced the earthquake in Japan.

  • Tsunami on Science on a Sphere

    8:03

    Tsunami is the Visualization Lab's latest production for the NOAA Science on a Sphere exhibit, viewable at over 40 locations worldwide.

    Tsunami takes a look back at the devastating 2004 Indonesia tsunami: what happened, what was learned, and what NOAA and its international partners have done since then to improve the safety of coastal populations.

    Tsunami also examines what will happen if and when a tsunami occurs off the coast of the United States near Oregon. How will alerts go out? How will you know a tsunami is coming?

    Watch Tsunami and learn the signs. All coasts are vulnerable to tsunamis. Be prepared.

    Note: File contains video and audio content.

  • Japan TSUNAMI 2011 | Amazing Graphic Comparison

    3:08

    Hello friends, welcome to the next video. We have a new video series about size comparison. In today's video, we'll show the differences in the size of the tsunami in Japan in 2011. Enjoy the video

  • Formation tsunami

    1:14

    formation tsunami 3D

  • Tsunami Animation: Sumatra, 2004

    1:46

    The magnitude 9.1 Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of December 26, 2004, spawned the deadliest tsunami in history, killing more than 230,000 people in 14 countries around the Indian Ocean. More than half of those killed had lived in Acheh Province, Sumatra, where the tsunami rose as high as 30 m (100 ft.) and traveled more than 4 km (2.5 mi.) inland in this low-lying region.

    This earthquake began at its epicenter near northern Sumatra and moved the earth's crust an average of 15 m (50 ft.) as it ruptured northward for at least 1200 km (750 mi.), almost to the coast of Myanmar (Burma), over an 8-minute period. This distance is at least 200 km (125 mi.) longer than the length of fault that moved during the largest earthquake ever recorded, the magnitude 9.5 Great Chile Earthquake of 1960.

    This animation shows why this south-to-north rupture is important for understanding the behavior of this tsunami, and why such progressive rupture needs to be considered for future tsunami forecasting. If the earthquake had moved the fault along its entire length all-at-once it would have sent the largest tsunami waves perpendicular to the fault and so they would have passed south of Sri Lanka. The earthquake motion, however, started in the south and moved northward along the fault so the tsunami began radiating from near Sumatra before it could be generated near Myanmar, thus causing the largest tsunami waves to move in a different direction such that they strike Sri Lanka and Somalia directly, consistent with the tsunami waves actually observed in those countries.

    PTWC created this animation using the progressive rupture described by Chlieh et al. (2007) as input for their experimental forecast model, RIFT (Wang et al., 2012). For the first 30 minutes of simulated time the animation is centered over the northern Indian Ocean and moves at 30x normal speed to show the details of the tsunami as generated by this progressive rupture. The animation then speeds up to 1800x normal speed (1 sec. = 30 minutes simulated time) to carry the simulation forward a full 24 hours while it also zooms out and rotates the virtual globe to show the entire Indian Ocean. The waves then fade to an energy map showing the maximum calculated tsunami heights on the open ocean, then fade again to a map of the maximum calculated tsunami heights on the impacted coastlines.


    References:

    Chlieh, M., Avouac, J., Hjorleifsdottir, V., Song, T.A., Ji, C., Sieh, K., Sladen, A., Hebert, H., Prawirodirdjo, L., Bock., Y., & Galetzka, J. (2007) Coseismic Slip and Afterslip of the Great Mw 9.15 Sumatra--Andaman Earthquake of 2004. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 97 (1A), S152--S173, DOI: 10.1785/0120050631

    Wang, D., N.C. Becker, D. Walsh, G.J. Fryer, S.A. Weinstein, C.S. McCreery, V. Sardiña, V. Hsu, B.F. Hirshorn, G.P. Hayes, Z. Duputel, L. Rivera, H. Kanamori, K.K. Koyanagi, and B. Shiro (2012) Real-time Forecasting of the April 11, 2012 Sumatra Tsunami Geophysical Research Letters, 39, 6 pp., DOI: 10.1029/2012GL053081

  • BBC Nature: Mega Tsunami - Hawaii - The Tsunami Creator?

    3:53

    Scientists discuss how the repeated landslides on the volcanic island of Hawaii may be evidence that the land itself is a Mega Tsunami creator.
    Want to share your views with the team? Join our BBC Studios Voice:

    This is a commercial channel from BBC Studios. Service & Feedback

  • Storm Surge Like Youve Never Experienced it Before

    2:19

    What does 9 feet of storm surge look like? We show you like nobody else can. This was the forecast storm surge for the Carolina coast as Hurricane Florence was approaching.

    ** Forecast data from Sept 12th at 5:00 PM (ET)**

  • MEGA-TSUNAMI caused by LANDSLIDE devastates village | Greenland, Nuugaatsiaq

    1:50

    Shocking video captures the impact when one of the tallest tsunamis recorded in history hits and devastates the village of Nuugaatsiaq (Greenland) in the late evening hours, causing four deaths. – In the evening of June 17th, 2017 (at about 9:40 pm local time), a gigantic landslide (measuring 300 m × 1,100 m = 980 ft × 3,610 ft) occurred on the southern slope of the Umiammakku Nunaat peninsula. Several dozen million cubic meters of rock and slope sediments fell about 1 km (3,300 ft) into the Kangilleq fjord, which triggered a tsunami that moved westward into the Karrat fjord complex. The tsunami wave, which was initially over 90 meters high (about 300 ft.), reached the small village Nuugaatsiaq with a wave height of about ten meters (about 30 ft.). It took the catastrophic tidal wave only seven minutes to cover the 32 kilometers distance to Nuugaatsiaq, which means it reached an average speed of 275 km/h. The tsunami dragged four people out to sea, who have since been considered dead. Furthermore, seven people were slightly injured and two people were seriously injured by the catastrophic natural disaster. Eleven buildings were destroyed. Rescue helicopters brought the approximately 200 local residents to the district capital of Uummannaq.

    In 2018, a Swiss company observed the situation and found that the mountain slipped about 1 cm every day and one could expect another landslide at any time. The risk for this was rated at 11.5 out of 12, which is why a resettlement at this time was further excluded. Shortly thereafter it was announced that there was still danger from the mountain slope, making it impossible to end the evacuation. The village of Nuugaatsiaq has since been abandoned.

    Was the Greenland tsunami a mega-tsunami? The Greenland tsunami may be considered as mega-tsunami (or impact tsunami) due to its incredible initial wave height of nearly 100 m / + 300 ft. By contrast to ordinary tsunamis, which usually reach an hight of about 30-100 ft., a megatsunami is a tsunami with an initial wave amplitude measured in several tens, hundreds, or possibly thousands of metres. Megatsunamis are caused by giant landslides and other impact events (including meteorite impacts in an ocean), while ordinary tsunamis are usually caused by underwater earthquakes or volcanic eruptions (which do not normally generate such large waves). Other recent megatsunamis include the wave associated with the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa (volcanic eruption), the 1958 Lituya Bay megatsunami (landslide into a bay), and the wave resulting from the Vajont Dam landslide (caused by human activity) (

    When comparing this Greenland Tsunami with the 1958 Lituya Bay Mega-tsunami, it seems surprising that the landslide which triggered the Greenland Tsunami was actually even bigger than the landslide which triggered the 1958 Lituya Bay mega-tsunami (45 million m³ which fell about 1 km into the Kangilleq fjord // vs. // 30 million m³ which fell from an elevation of about 900 m into the Lituya Bay). Somehow the Lituya Bay wave ended up being way higher in its max. (+524 m Vs. 100 m). The Greenland Tsunami wave was way faster – it only took 7 minutes to cover the 32 km distance to Nuugaatsiaq (which equals and average speed of about 275 km/h) compared with the speed of the Lituya Bay wave (estimated to only 160-210 hm/h).

    Additional information and insights about this Greenland Mega-Tsunami can be found here:

    © A. Larsen / LS: Greenland Mega-Tsunami devastes village (2017)

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  • Tsunami Stromboli.mov

    6:00

    In 2002, a small eruption of Stromboli Volcano sent several large
    landslides down its slopes. These in turn, made damaging tsunami
    waves that swept the coasts of the Island. This is a computer simulation of those events.

  • How earthquakes happen

    2:01

    A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck northern Italy, rattling the cities of Bologna, Ferrara, Verona and Mantua. Six people were killed, thousands were forced into temporary shelters and many historic buildings, including churches, were reduced to rubble.

  • NOAA 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Simulation

    31

    Courtesy NOAA

    This NOAA visualization tracks the tsunami waves until they reach the East African coast of Somalia.

  • 津波、川をさかのぼる 宮城・多賀城市の砂押川 TSUNAMI Tagajyo,Miyagi

    15:31

    22日早朝に発生した福島県沖を震源とするマグニチュード(M)7.4の地震で、宮城県多賀城市の砂押川をさかのぼる津波の様子をとらえた写真がツイッターに投稿されている。宮城県警のヘリコプターも、砂押川の水が逆流していく様子を撮影している。

     ツイッター、県警のいずれの画像でも、白波をたてて逆流していく状況がみえる。砂押川は東日本大震災でも津波がさかのぼり、一部堤防が決壊した。

     今回の地震では、福島、茨城、栃木の3県で震度5弱を観測。仙台市に140センチ、福島県の東京電力福島第1、第2原発にそれぞれ100センチ、岩手県の久慈港に80センチの津波が到達した。その後も震度1~3の地震が続いた。

     気象庁によると、東日本大震災の余震とみられ、140センチの津波観測は大震災以降、最大。気象庁は福島、宮城両県に津波警報、青森、岩手、茨城、千葉各県に津波注意報を出し、午後1時前に全て解除した。気象庁は地震の規模が大きく震源が浅かったため、大きな津波になったとみている。 (映像提供 宮城県警)

  • INSIDE LOOK: What You Need to Know in Case a Tsunami Approaches

    8:02

    A tsunami is one the most powerful and destructive natural forces. It is a series of waves (not just one) caused by a large and sudden displacement of the ocean. Tsunamis can strike any U.S. Coast, but the greatest risk is along the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. The West Coast states of California, Washington and Oregon have experienced tsunamis from as far away as Alaska, South America, Japan, and Russia. The last week in March is designated as Tsunami Preparedness Week, so watch this video to see the simple and easy steps you should take to make sure you know the warning signs of a tsunami and are prepared.

  • NASA released Tsunami Animation Video

    1:42

  • Tsunami Forecast Model Animation: Japan 2011

    1:50

    At 14:46 on the afternoon of 11 March 2011 (05:46 UTC), a 9.0 moment magnitude earthquake struck near the coastline of Honshu, Japan. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) quickly determined that the very large magnitude of this earthquake, its offshore location, its relatively shallow depth within the earth, and a history of megathrust earthquakes in the region meant that it likely moved the seafloor and thus posed a significant tsunami risk. As per international agreements Japanese authorities issued tsunami warnings for their own coastlines while PTWC began issuing warnings to other countries and territories in the western Pacific Ocean. The earthquake did in fact cause a tsunami, and over the following hours as PTWC learned more about the earthquake (confirming it was a megathrust and upgrading its magnitude) and its tsunami through forecast models and direct observation with DART sensors and coastal sea-level gauges PTWC would eventually issue tsunami warnings to the State of Hawaii and all remaining countries and territories participating the Pacific Tsunami Warning System, keeping warnings in some areas in effect for more than a day. PTWC’s sister office, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (now known as the National Tsunami Warning Center), also issued tsunami warnings for Alaska and the Pacific coasts of the United States and Canada. The tsunami caused the greatest devastation and over 17,000 deaths in Japan, where waves reached over 40 m or 130 ft. high. Outside of Japan the tsunami also killed one person in Papua, Indonesia and rose to greater than 5 m or 16 ft. in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), greater than 2m or 6.5 ft. in Indonesia, Russia's Kuril Islands, and in Chile, and rose to greater than 1 m or 3 ft. in Costa Rica, the Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia), Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. In the United States the tsunami rose to more than 5 m or 16 ft. in Hawaii, more than 2 m or 6.5 ft in California and Oregon, and more than 1 m or 3 ft. in the U.S. island territories of Midway and Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands). The tsunami also killed one person in Crescent City, California.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) can create an animation of a historical tsunami like this one using the same tool that it uses to determine tsunami hazards in real time for any tsunami today: the Real-Time Forecasting of Tsunamis (RIFT) forecast model. The RIFT model takes earthquake information as input and calculates how the waves move through the world’s oceans, predicting their speed, wavelength, and amplitude. This animation shows these values through the simulated motion of the waves and as they travel through the world’s oceans one can also see the distance between successive wave crests (wavelength) as well as their height (half-amplitude) indicated by their color. More importantly, the model also shows what happens when these tsunami waves strike land, the very information that PTWC needs to issue tsunami hazard guidance for impacted coastlines. From the beginning the animation shows all coastlines covered by colored points. These are initially a blue color like the undisturbed ocean to indicate normal sea level, but as the tsunami waves reach them they will change color to represent the height of the waves coming ashore, and often these values are higher than they were in the deeper waters offshore. The color scheme is based on PTWC’s warning criteria, with blue-to-green representing no hazard (less than 30 cm or ~1 ft.), yellow-to-orange indicating low hazard with a stay-off-the-beach recommendation (30 to 100 cm or ~1 to 3 ft.), light red-to-bright red indicating significant hazard requiring evacuation (1 to 3 m or ~3 to 10 ft.), and dark red indicating a severe hazard possibly requiring a second-tier evacuation (greater than 3 m or ~10 ft.).

    Toward the end of this simulated 36 hours of activity the wave animation will transition to the “energy map” of a mathematical surface representing the maximum rise in sea-level on the open ocean caused by the tsunami, a pattern that indicates that the kinetic energy of the tsunami was not distributed evenly across the oceans but instead forms a highly directional “beam” such that the tsunami was far more severe in the middle of the “beam” of energy than on its sides. This pattern also generally correlates to the coastal impacts; note how those coastlines directly in the “beam” are hit by larger waves than those to either side of it.

    -----

    Earthquake source used: USGS NEIC Finite Fault Model



    For a NOAA Science on a Sphere version of this animation, please see:

  • Tsunami Study Challenges Long-held Formation Theory

    1:06

    A new NASA study is challenging a long-held theory on how tsunamis form and offering a new method for forecasting the powerful waves.

    Most tsunamis result from a massive shifting of the seafloor -- usually from the subduction, or sliding, of one tectonic plate under another during an earthquake.

    Using a large wave tank, researchers simulated horizontal land displacements and found that it can contribute significantly to the strength of some tsunamis.

    This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at:

    Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Katy Mersmann

    If you liked this video, subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel:

    Or subscribe to NASA’s Goddard Shorts HD Podcast:

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  • Aceh Tsunami: When the Waves Came Crashing

    4:30

    TODAY speaks to various people in Aceh about their experiences during the tsunami. For many, the painful memories are still vivid.

  • Japan Sendai Earthquake And Tsunami Visualization of Pacific Ocean, 11/03/2011

    1:01



    Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) has confirmed at least 1000 dead and another 88,000 missing in six different prefectures.

    By 09:30 March 11 UTC, Google Person Finder, which was previously used in the Haiti, Chile, and Christchurch earthquakes, was collecting information about survivors and their locations.

    It has been confirmed that two passenger trains containing an unknown number of passengers disappeared in a coastal area during the tsunami.

    It has also been confirmed that a ship carrying 100 people was swept away by the tsunami. The current status of the ship is still unknown.

    Four were swept out to sea by the tsunami off the coast of Crescent City, California, United States, near the Oregon border, with two of them later found alive, one still missing, and one dead. A man who was taking pictures of the tsunami waves on the Northern California coast was also swept out to sea and is missing. The United States Coast Guard is now searching for him.

    2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami:

    The 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami (Tōhoku Chihō Taiheiyō- oki Jishin, literally Tōhoku region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake) was a 9.1-magnitude megathrust earthquake that created tsunami waves of up to 10 metres (33 ft). It was measured at 7 on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale in the northern Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, with an initially reported magnitude of 7.9, while the JMA's tsunami warning listed the magnitude as 8.4, later updated to 8.9. The earthquake focus was reported to be off the Oshika Peninsula, the east coast of Tōhoku on 11 March 2011, at 05:46 UTC (14:46 local time) at a depth of 24.4 kilometres (15.2 mi). News reports by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) indicate that at least 1000 people have died and another 88,000 are missing in six different prefectures, although it is feared the total number of dead could be far higher.

    The magnitude of 8.9 made it the largest earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history, and the seventh largest in the world since records began. It is thought to have been the largest earthquake to have struck Japan in the last 1,200 years.

    Tsunami:

    The earthquake triggered a tsunami warning for Japan's Pacific coast and at least 20 countries, including the entire Pacific coast of North and South America from Alaska to Chile. The tsunami warning issued by Japan was the most serious on its warning scale, implying that the wave was expected to be 10 meters (33 ft) high. According to Kyodo news agency, a wave that high was observed at 3:55pm JST flooding Sendai Airport, which is located near the coast of Miyagi prefecture, with waves sweeping aside cars and flooding various buildings as they traveled inland. Kyodo news agency has reported a four-meter-(13 ft) high tsunami hitting Iwate Prefecture in Japan. A 0.5-meter (20 in)-high wave hit Japan's northern coast. Reports indicate that the wall of water was higher than some Pacific islands and the danger of tsunami flooding prompted warnings for almost the entire Pacific basin.

    In a statement to the press, an official from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said: An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours.

    Nuclear Power Plants:

    According to the Associated Press, Japan has declared a state of emergency following the failure of the cooling system at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Officials say there has been no leak of radiation or radioactive material.

    One facility in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the reactor cooling system after it was shut down and emergency power supply failed but there was no radiation leak. Past midnight local time, it was reported that The Tokyo Electric Power Company was considering venting out superhot gas from the reactor vessel into the atmosphere, which could result in the release of radioactives. The core of the reactor remains hot however, so cooling is still required. Unnamed officials at the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported that due to lack of electricity the emergency cooling system is currently powered by a battery, which lasts about eight hours. Another six batteries have been secured, and the government may use military helicopters to fly them in. A precautionary state of emergency has been declared. More than 2,000 residents living within a 3-kilometer (1.9 mi) radius of the plant were evacuated, while residents living within a zone 3 to 10 kilometers (1.9 to 6.2 mi) away were asked to evacuate.

    Japanese officials have announced their intentions to vent slightly radioactive gas to relieve pressure within the reactor vessel.

  • Tsunami Visualization in the Pacific

    50

    Computer simulation of the 2011 Japan tsunami using the MOST algorithm. I have added the actual daylight zones (day/night) from 11 March 2011 for a sense of time. I have also added a plane moving at typical speed of 720 km/h (~720 mph) moving back and forth between Tokyo and Los Angeles with an hour of layover in LAX.

  • TRIDEC Tsunami Visualisation 2

    32

    Visualisation of two simulated Tsunamis from the TRIDEC Project displayed using GoogleEarth.Info on the TRIDEC Project:

  • tsunami simulation and visualization from chula

    47

  • Tsunami Visualization at Thailand by Chulalongkorn

    41

    The tsunami visualization was created from department of computer engineering and civil engineering at Chulalongkorn university. This approach use the multiscale computation for focusing on the land and coastline of southern of Thailand.

  • Tohoku Tsunami Animation

    25

    The Tōhoku tsunami resulted from a magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea earthquake which occurred off the earth coast of northern Honshu, Japan at 4:46 pm EDT on Friday 11 March, 2011. This animation shows the way in which and the time it took for this tsunami to travel across the Pacific Ocean.

    For information about the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre which is operated by the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia go to

  • Alaska Under Tsunami Watch After 7.0 Earthquake Hits Near Anchorage | NBC News

    2:57

    Coastal areas of Alaska are under a tsunami warning after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit eight miles outside of Anchorage.
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    Alaska Under Tsunami Watch After 7.0 Earthquake Hits Near Anchorage | NBC News

  • Tsunami Animation: Hawaii 1975

    1:18

    NEW VERSION AT


    Not all tsunamis in the Hawaiian Islands come from overseas. On the early morning of November 29, 1975, a 7.7 magnitude* earthquake struck the southeast coast of the Big Island of Hawaii and generated a tsunami as high as 48 ft. (14.6 m). A 26 ft. (7.9 m) high wave killed two campers at the Halape Campground in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The tsunami also damaged property elsewhere on the Island of Hawaii and smaller non-destructive waves traveled as far as Alaska, California, Japan, and Samoa. For more information about this earthquake please see

    Our animation shows how this tsunami may have propagated in the Hawaiian Islands, transitioning at its end to an energy map showing the maximum wave heights over the 6-hour period that the animation covers. Note how the waves wrap around the islands and reach Honolulu in about 45 minutes. The campers in Halape, however, had only a few minutes to react, illustrating the most dangerous aspect of locally generated tsunamis: that people nearest to the tsunami source (earthquake, landslide, etc.) cannot wait for a siren to signal danger. If you are on or near a coastline and feel shaking so strong you cannot stand up, or shaking that lasts for a minute or more, leave the area as soon as the shaking stops and go to ground at least 50 ft. (15 m) above sea level. In Hawaii walking inland for about 20 minutes will usually do it, but you can see Hawaii's tsunami evacuation zones in your phone book or on this NOAA website:


    *Nettles, M. and G. Ekström, Long-Period Source Characteristics of the 1975 Kalapana, Hawaii, Earthquake, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2004

  • Computer Models Help Predict Tsunami Risk

    1:34

    Stanford scientists are using complex computational models to solve the puzzle of the devastating tsunami that stuck Japan earlier this year and predict where future tsunamis might occur.

    Related article:



    Stanford University:


    Stanford News:


    Stanford University Channel on YouTube:

  • Memorials mark 15 years since devastating tsunami killed 230,000

    29

    The day after Christmas in 2004, a massive undersea earthquake set off a tsunami that killed 230,000 people along Indian Ocean coastlines. On the 15th anniversary, memorial services are being held to mourn the disaster.

  • Tsunami Forecast Model Animation: Samoa 2009

    1:27

    At 6:48 on the morning of September 29, 2009 (17:48 UTC), an 8.1 moment magnitude earthquake struck near the Samoan Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) quickly determined that the large magnitude of this earthquake, its location under the sea floor, its relatively shallow depth within the earth, and a history of tsunami-causing earthquakes in the region meant that it could have moved the seafloor and thus posed a significant tsunami risk. PTWC issued its first tsunami warning several minutes later for Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, and other nearby island groups. The earthquake did in fact cause a dangerous tsunami, and over the following hours PTWC tracked it through the Pacific Ocean and updated its alerts with measured tsunami wave heights and recommended that additional areas consider coastal evacuation. PTWC canceled all tsunami alerts about four hours after the earthquake.

    Destructive waves only struck islands near the earthquake’s epicenter, where casualties were significant. The tsunami reached over 12 m or nearly 40 ft. high in Samoa, killing 149 people there. In nearby American Samoa the waves were even higher at over 17 m or 55 ft, killing 34, and topped 22 m or 72 ft in Tonga, killing 9 more people there. Smaller waves traveled throughout the Pacific Ocean but caused no more deaths or damage.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) can create an animation of a historical tsunami like this one with the same tool that it uses to determine tsunami hazards in real time for any tsunami today: the Real-Time Forecasting of Tsunamis (RIFT) forecast model. The RIFT model takes earthquake information as input and calculates how the waves move through the world’s oceans, predicting their speed, wavelength, and amplitude. This animation shows these values through the simulated motion of the waves and as they travel through the world’s oceans one can also see the distance between successive wave crests (wavelength) as well as their height (half-amplitude) indicated by their color. More importantly, the model also shows what happens when these tsunami waves strike land, the very information that PTWC needs to issue tsunami hazard guidance for impacted coastlines. From the beginning the animation shows all coastlines covered by colored points. These are initially a blue color like the undisturbed ocean to indicate normal sea level, but as the tsunami waves reach them they will change color to represent the height of the waves coming ashore, and often these values are higher than they were in the deeper waters offshore. The color scheme is based on PTWC’s warning criteria, with blue-to-green representing no hazard (less than 30 cm or ~1 ft.), yellow-to-orange indicating low hazard with a stay-off-the-beach recommendation (30 to 100 cm or ~1 to 3 ft.), light red-to-bright red indicating significant hazard requiring evacuation (1 to 3 m or ~3 to 10 ft.), and dark red indicating a severe hazard possibly requiring a second-tier evacuation (greater than 3 m or ~10 ft.).

    Toward the end of this simulated 24 hours of activity the wave animation will transition to the “energy map” of a mathematical surface representing the maximum rise in sea-level on the open ocean caused by the tsunami, a pattern that indicates that the kinetic energy of the tsunami was not distributed evenly across the oceans but instead forms a highly directional “beam” such that the tsunami was far more severe in the middle of the “beam” of energy than on its sides. This pattern also generally correlates to the coastal impacts; note how those coastlines directly in the “beam” are hit by larger waves than those to either side of it.

    Earthquake source used: USGS Finite Fault Model, see:

  • Tsunami simulation, Tohoku event 2011

    22

    Visualized with ParaView and the UGRID Reader Plugin. More details about the UGRID Reader on the Climate Visualization Laboratory website:

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