The magnitude of the earthquake that hit the east coast of Tohoku, Japan on March 3, 2011 was a magnitude of 9.0. As measured on the Richter Scale it ranks in the top 5 ever recorded. The largest recorded earthquake to date was a 9.5 that hit Chile in 1960 (USGS ,2012). These two earthquakes appear similar in magnitude with a difference of .5, but that difference in amplification is significant. Each point on the Richter scale has a shaking amplitude delta that is 10 times stronger than the last point. How much damage an earthquake inflicts depends on the size and type of fault, the location and depth of the epicenter, and the strength and duration of the event.
Earthquakes occur in the Earth’s crust, which is the uppermost layer of the planet and can reach depths up to 18 miles. The crust is brittle and the strongest earthquakes happen here. The United States Geological Survey assessed the Tohoku earthquake depth to be 18.6 mi (USGS, 2011). The Tohoku earthquake’s hypocenter, had a massive buildup of energy and when the crust could not hold anymore, it ruptured, releasing the energy. This caused a chain reaction of quakes that assaulted Japan and created the devastating tsunami.
The motion that was associated with the Tohoku event was an upward thrust. T...
... middle of paper ...
...ense Japan has against tsunamis. Japan has built a coastal seawall to combat the tsunami threat. This concrete and steel wall will run 250 miles along the Japanese coast. Built to height of 41 feet, it is expected to protect coastal cities and towns from the water surge (Gough, 2015).
Despite all these defenses the tsunami stilled massive amounts of damage. The reason for this is the wave broke the seawall. The wave was higher than originally predicted. The other reason the tsunami wave caused so much damage was the people were too complacent when it came to the danger of a tsunami. The last major tsunami to hit Japan was in 1993. There has been a considerable amount of time to between the two events. The warnings that were issued went unheeded by the people. After the seawall collapsed the surge of water swept away many of the coastal towns (Hoffingtonpost, 2011).
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Earthquakes The earth is a very unique place with very intense catastrophes that occur throughout its lifespan. Some of these catalysts have the ability to completely alter the earth in ways that no man made invention could do. Earthquakes are among those catastrophes that cause unimaginable amounts of damage in what seems like no time at all. Earthquakes are caused by a collision of two plates in the earth. The collision will then send seismic waves across the surface of the earth destroying anything in its path.... [tags: Earthquake, Plate tectonics]
942 words (2.7 pages)
- Earthquakes have been recorded throughout history for thousands of years. Even before seismographs in early times, there are records and accounts of mysterious ground shaking. Earthquakes occur when rocks break along an underground fault (UPSeis, 2007). This, in return, causes vibrations through the earth which causes ground shaking. The magnitude of the shaking varies depending on how great the movement along the fault is; the greater the movement, the bigger the earthquake. Some earthquakes are huge and cause significant damage, while others are small and cause little or no damage what-so-ever.... [tags: Earthquakes]
1527 words (4.4 pages)
- Powerful forces of nature can cause destruction to lives and property. While the continuing study of earthquakes and volcanoes helps us determine and better understand their powers, they continue to be natural phenomena that we need to learn even more about. Even with many differences in these two forces of nature, it is interesting that they also have commonalities. There are numerous similarities and differences between earthquakes and volcanoes. Merriam Webster defines an earthquake as “a shaking or trembling of the earth that includes volcanic or tectonic in origin.” Two blocks of the earth suddenly sliding past each other results in an earthquake.... [tags: Volcano, Lava, Earthquake, Mount Vesuvius]
1500 words (4.3 pages)
- What are Earthquakes. The most dreadful and disastrous experience of nature is a catastrophic earthquake and it’s terrible after shocks. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the Earth, caused by the rough release of strain that has accumulated over time. According to the Geoscience of Australia, “Earthquakes are the vibrations caused by rocks breaking under stress. The underground surface along which the rock breaks and moves is called a fault plane. Earthquakes in Australia are usually caused by movements along faults as a result of compression in the Earth’s crust.” “Some of the most complicated phenomena in nature depend upon the simplest and most obvious of causes, but there are several... [tags: Plate tectonics, Earth, Subduction, Earthquake]
739 words (2.1 pages)
- The Kathmandu Valley and the Constant Terror of Earthquakes One important climatic feature that plagues the South Asian region of the Kathmandu Valley is earthquakes. A few severe earthquakes have taken place in the country's history and caused many deaths and nearly irreparable damage to impoverished Nepal. The residents of the Kathmandu Valley experience small tremors nearly every day, whether they can feel them or not. The world and the nation is waiting for the 'next big one' to terrorize the small country.... [tags: Essay on Nepal Earthquakes]
1166 words (3.3 pages)
- Major Earthquakes are Inevitable in Indiana’s Future An earthquake felt throughout the Midwest on June 18 was a shaky reminder that earthquakes can occur anywhere. The earthquake, whose epicenter was located north of Evansville, was felt through most of Indiana and surrounding states, as reported by the Indianapolis Star. The quake was not the largest in Midwestern history, only registering a 5.0 on the Richter scale, nor did it do much damage. However, it was a wake-up call reminding those who haven’t paid attention to past warnings about the possibility of larger, more destructive earthquakes.... [tags: Earthquakes Geology Essays]
1293 words (3.7 pages)
- We have to know what earthquakes are in order for us to be prepared against them. Earthquakes are tremors that move the earth. They can create a lot of damage. Earthquakes have happened around the world. What causes earthquakes to happen. How do we protect ourselves against the powerful earthquakes. Earthquakes can cause a lot of damage to homes and places so it is important to know where it has happened. Also what causes them and how do we protect ourselves against earthquakes. To begin with earthquakes can happen around the world.... [tags: Natural Disasters]
518 words (1.5 pages)
- On Earthquakes An earthquake is a shaking or trembling of the crust of the earth caused by underground volcanic action or by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the surface. The volcanic action and shifting rocks create strain which continues to build to a sudden release of pressure resulting in a shock wave. The vibrations produced in the crust can vary from barely noticeable to enormously destructive. Shock waves can be classified into two broad categories. Waves that send particles oscillating back and forth in the same direction as the waves are traveling are called primary.... [tags: Papers]
1681 words (4.8 pages)
- What is an Earthquake. An Earthquake is the shaking of the earth's surface caused by rapid movement of the earth's rocky outer layer. The sudden shaking of the ground that occurs when masses of rock change position below the Earth's surface is called an earthquake. The shifting masses send out shock waves that may be powerful enough to alter the surface of the Earth, thrusting up cliffs and opening great cracks in the ground. Earthquakes, called temblors by scientists, occur almost continuously.... [tags: essays research papers]
648 words (1.9 pages)
- Earthquakes Earthquakes, one of the most destructive natural phenomena, consist of rapid vibrations of rock near the earth's surface. Because of their unpredictable occurrence and enormous capacity of destruction, they have brought fear to mankind since ancient times. A single shock usually lasts no more than a few seconds, but a series of smaller quakes may last for as long as five minutes. The quake felt on the surface is always the result, not the cause of some underground geologic process, and in many cases the damage done is immense.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
2701 words (7.7 pages)