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.

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: Computer model shows moon's core surrounded by liquid and it's caused by Earth's gravity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Five dead as magnitude-8.2 quake hits northern Chile

Apr 02, 2014

A powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck off northern Chile on Tuesday night, setting off a small tsunami that forced evacuations along the country's entire Pacific coast. Five people were crushed to death ...

Great Alaska Earthquake shook Alaska 50 years ago

Mar 26, 2014

Electric clocks on walls in Anchorage shut down at 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964. Time stopped at the start of the '64 Great Alaska Earthquake, the second largest ever recorded at magnitude 9.2.

Indonesia cave reveals history of ancient tsunamis

Dec 24, 2013

A cave discovered near the source of Indonesia's massive earthquake-spawned tsunami contains the footprints of past gigantic waves dating up to 7,500 years ago, a rare natural record that suggests the next ...

Recommended for you

Mysterious molecules in space

1 hour ago

Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient stars and ejected into space when those stars ...

Image: NASA's SDO observes a lunar transit

9 hours ago

On July 26, 2014, from 10:57 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. EDT, the moon crossed between NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, a phenomenon called a lunar transit.

Image: Tethys in sunlight

9 hours ago

Tethys, like many moons in the solar system, keeps one face pointed towards the planet around which it orbits. Tethys' anti-Saturn face is seen here, fully illuminated, basking in sunlight. On the right side ...

User comments : 0