Tsunamis

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Tsunamis are one of the most deadly natural disasters in the world and one that people understand little about. Researchers always believed that earthquakes that cause tsunamis only occur at subduction zones but that conception changed in 2004. This event that happened near Sumatra, Indonesia really drew attention to understanding how tsunamis function. This was one of the most damaging tsunamis in recent history accounting for nearly a quarter of a million deaths. There are many reasons for the casualties that occurred but one thing that is certain is that the tsunamis are very unpredictable. Japan and the U.S. have been working on a simulation to predict the pattern for tsunamis for over a decade with little data and success. The unpredictability of tsunamis makes it harder to have safety measures to warn people of the danger. Researchers really had take note of the 2004 tsunami in order to understand the nature of tsunamis as well as implement safety measures. The tsunami in the Indian Ocean helped researches discover a lot about tsunamis and how they work. The simulation model required a good deal of data in order to be effective but there had only been measurements of tsunamis near the coast before this one. The satellites orbiting the Earth were able to measure the height of the waves as the tsunami was going in its path. This was the first time that has ever been done and it was very valuable for the researchers. They also tracked the speed of the tsunami to get an idea of how fast these deadly waves can travel at. It was astonishing when they found out that this particular tsunami was ranging speeds from 500 to 1000 kilometers per hour. The path of the tsunami was intriguing because it traveled from the Indian Ocean all ... ... middle of paper ... ...h where earthquakes are most prone to cause tsunamis. I think that scientists need to study these spots more in depth and analyze why tsunamis that happen around the same place have different reactions. The 2005 tsunami had a significantly lower wavelength then its predecessor even though the earthquake magnitude was around the same. With a deeper understanding of faults and how they are structured, I believe we can make greater strides to help lowering the risk of tsunamis. For the immediate future, the best that can be done is to use the current research and safety measures available to identify and report. With public awareness and government planning, evacuation from tsunamis will be very effective and reduce the number of casualties. Works Cited Geist, E.L., Titov, V.V. & Synolakis, C.E. (2006). "Tsunami: wave of change". Scientific American, 2006, p. 56-63.

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