Space Radar Reveals Topography of Tsunami Site

Oct 02, 2009
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission image of the Independent State of Samoa (left) and American Samoa (right). Image credit: NASA/JPL/NGA

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two color-coded perspective views of the Independent State of Samoa (left) and American Samoa (right), generated with digital elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, illustrate the varying topography of the islands.

A generated by a major undersea earthquake on Sept. 29, 2009, inundated the more heavily populated southern coast of Tutuila, the largest of the islands of American Samoa, with an ocean surge more than 3 meters (10 feet) deep, causing scores of casualties.

The tsunami also inundated villages on the southern coast of the Independent State of Samoa with an ocean surge perhaps more than 3 meters (10 feet) deep, and also impacted the more heavily populated northern coasts with a surge measured at nearly 1.5 meters (4 feet) at the capital city of Apia.

Digital topographic data such as those produced by SRTM can be used to aid researchers and planners in predicting which coastal regions are at the most risk from such waves, as well as from the more common storm surges caused by tropical storms and even sea level rise.

Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: Tropical depression 21W forms, Philippines under warnings

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tsunami created swells worldwide

Aug 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.

Measuring a monster

Jun 10, 2005

Highlights from final report on December 26, 2004 tsunami's impact in Banda Aceh Waves more than 15 meters (49 feet) high. Flooding of 25 square miles of land. A coastline moved a mile. In a brief report in the June 9, 200 ...

Conditions combined for devastating tsunami

Sep 30, 2009

(AP) -- Because of a lethal combination of geology and geography, the people of American Samoa didn't stand much of a chance. Almost every condition that triggers bad tsunamis was in place this time, generating ...

Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning

Mar 20, 2009

A major 7.9-magnitude earthquake has shaken the South Pacific nation of Tonga and sending people in low lying areas of Fiji fleeing for higher ground after a tsunami warning, according to officials.

'Trapped Wave' Caused Unexpected Dennis Surge

Oct 09, 2006

When Hurricane Dennis passed North Florida on July 10, 2005, it caused a 10-foot storm surge in some areas along Apalachee Bay — about 3 to 4 feet more than forecasted— that couldn’t be explained only ...

Recommended for you

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

Nov 25, 2014

University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

User comments : 0

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.