Tsunami created swells worldwide

August 27, 2005

Last year's Indian Ocean tsunami was so powerful it circled the globe twice and high waves were recorded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Peru, an analysis shows.

Waves recorded in Canada and South America were bigger than those in the Cocos Islands, closer to the epicenter of the earthquake that hit the ocean floor off Sumatra, Indonesia, according to Frank Gonzalez, head of tsunami research for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle.

Waves ranging from a few inches to 3 feet were recorded along the West Coast of the United States and off the coast of Brazil.

Underwater topography can affect waves as they pass over undersea mountains -- the shallow portion over the ridges slows while the portion moving through deep water moves faster, says Gonzalez.

"The ridges focus tsunami waves the way a lens focuses light," Gonzalez told the Seattle Times. "They form beams, and if those beams are aimed at coastal communities, the communities can experience high tsunami waves."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Mapping land claimed by sea level rise

Related Stories

Mapping land claimed by sea level rise

August 20, 2015

The New Jersey shoreline that sea birds wandered during the last ice age is about 90 miles east of today's beaches, tens of meters beneath the sea floor. As the ice melted, sea level gradually rose and flooded the coastal ...

The great geologist behind the Origin of Species

June 8, 2015

After Charles Darwin published the landmark On the Origin of Species in 1859 at the age of 50, he devoted the rest of his professional life to building up evidence to support its central claim – namely that species of plants ...

Recommended for you

Chemists solve major piece of cellular mystery

August 27, 2015

Not just anything is allowed to enter the nucleus, the heart of eukaryotic cells where, among other things, genetic information is stored. A double membrane, called the nuclear envelope, serves as a wall, protecting the contents ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.