11 March 2011
Super Quake Spawns Massive Tsunami in Japan
Posted by Dan Satterfield
Update: Amazing video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3fUqdGXLbM
The strongest earthquake ever recorded in Japan struck at 0546 GMT Friday. It was 3:46 PM on a Friday afternoon and a massive tsunami struck minutes later. The damage you can see on TV (The BBC coverage is exc. as usual) but here is a little science behind why it happened.
Japan sits on top of three of the Earths Tectonic plates. Mount Fuji is were they meet. The large Pacific Plate is subducting under the Filipino and Eurasian plates. The image below has been annotated by me and is from a geology text book I have.
There is an excellent site at Penn State University, that explains how these large plates cause earthquakes and Tsunamis. Click the image below to learn more.
Check out the other blogs on the AGU Blogosphere for more of the science behind this disaster. Geologist Callan Bentley on Mountain Beltway will certainly have info early Friday. Dave Petley in the UK already has info up on The Landslide Blog.
Is it subducting under the Eurasian plate or the North American plate? The diagram seems to indicate the latter.
Very nice plate tectonic map -would like to see a detailed cross section of the subducting plate.
This is a great plate tectonic map inviting follow up.
Could you possibly show a detailed cross section of the subducting Pacific plate.
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