Japan Earthquake

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K. E.
Geology 100
4/15/13
Japan earthquake
                On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by a magnitude 9.0 quake at about 2:50 pm. This would turn out to be the largest earthquake in the past thousands years to ever be recorded. What caused this massive destruction one might ask? This devastating quake was caused because Japan is located between two major tectonic plates. When a large number of plate movements occur, the Pacific Plate makes its way below a subduction zone. When plate movements are not gradual and continuous along the subductions zones, quakes then now occur. When the subduction zones begin to deform from the plate, stress begins to build up in the rocks. Once the stress level increases to its limit, the rocks rupture along the boundary of the plate.                 Since the magnitude of the Japan quake was so large, a tsunami was created. This tsunami hit the mainland causing more destruction. The cause of this tsunami was due to the fact that the earthquake occurred 20 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Combined with the high magnitude, the tsunami affected not only Japan but also the coast of the United States; such as Hawaii, California, and Oregon. Reaching at about 33 feet high, the tsunami inundated the coast while flooding parts of Sendai. The Natori River, which separates Sendai from Natori was overflown from the large amounts of water. As for the town of Miyako, it was completely washed away.                 Fukushima Daiich, one of the two nuclear plants was struck. The damage caused was to the pumping systems that control the temperature of the nuclear reactors. A fire broke out, causing an explosion to occur and evacuations to take into effect. Fortunately there were no deaths or radiation sickness from the plants recorded by authorities.                 When the waves hit Hawaii, from the effects of the tsunami, the debris from the aftermath of the earthquake washed up on shore. Plastic, wood, and parts of...
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