Tsunamis, Wave of Destruction

Topics: Tsunami, Pacific Ocean, Earthquake Pages: 4 (1214 words) Published: May 6, 2006
Running Head: Tsunami: Wave of Destruction

Tsunami: Wave of Destruction

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the article "Tsunami!" written by Frank L. Gonzalez, a leading researcher with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle Washington. It is my intent to outline several key points the author makes about tsunamis that have occurred between 1990 and 2000. This paper will attempt to inform the reader about the forces that generate tsunamis as well as the physics involved with their wave propagation, speed at which they travel, and eventual contact with coastal areas. Additional topics will introduce the newest scientific methods of detection, early warning systems, and the preparations that are underway to prepare the public as to the dangers associated with tsunamis.

Tsunami: Wave of Destruction
Tsunamis are clearly one of the most destructive phenomenons in nature. They are capable of transfer of an inconceivable amount of energy and can strike heavily populated areas with little or no warning destroying anything they encounter. Researchers are studying the causes and attempting to developed systems which can detect and warn inhabitants of the approach of these destructive waves. REVIEW

At exactly 6:49 p.m. an earthquake with a magnitude 7.1 in the Bismarck Sea approximately 19 miles from villages of Sissano, Arop, Warupu, and other small villages took the lives of over 2,200 people. Within minutes the 15 meter high wave struck the unsuspecting villagers, destroying everything in its path. The cause of this horrific event was the product of the highly active tectonic plates around the Pacific Rim. 86 percent of all tsunamis in this area are caused by undersea earthquakes and since 1990 ten tsunamis have claimed the lives of over 4000 people. Historically, there have been an average of 52 tsunamis a decade but from 1990 to 2000 there were over 82. North and South...

References: Gonzalez, F. (1999). "TSUNAMI!". Scientific American, 280(5), pgs. 56-65 Retrieved
March 18, 2006, from Hunt Library Web Database Access Page, from Omni File database
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Lutgens, F. K. & Tarbuck, E. J. (2003) Foundations of Earth Science (3rd edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Ostdiek, V. J., & Bord, D. B. (2005). Inquiry Into Physics (5th ed.). Belmont, Ca: Brooks/Cole.
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