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Earthquake in Japan

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An Earthquake happened on 11 march 2011 in Japan, of magnitude 8.9 and off the coast of Honshu.
The earthquake had devastating effects and triggered a tsunami which aslo had devastating and unavoidable effects on the land.

Theory
The hazard caused by an earthquake depends on its energy released (magnitude) and depth at which it occurs, the closest to the surface it is, the more devastating it is.
The hazard caused by a tsunami is depends on its originative earthquake and its strenght but mainly on the coastal landscape and the depth of the shores, whether it is steep or shallow beaches and shores, the latter causing much higher waves and impact on the land.
An earthquake has devastating effects, considered usually from magnitude 5 and above, and it may or may not trigger a tsunami which has also devastating and unavoidable effects. Above magn. 6.3 it is considered it may trigger a tsunami, but that depends on the coast profile and slope.

Questions I ask :

-          Why do people live near the ocean in Japan as it is frequent earthquake and frequent tsunamis ?

-          Why are cities built near the sea as it is obvious an earthquake happens rapidly and not everybody could saved before the tsunami comes, especially then the land installations are also struck (roads, heliports, hospitals, etc) ?

-          Why are people so much interested into the internal functionning of a nuclear plant to make one’s mind about its real dangerosity, when it should be enough to see that the building has been severly damaged and has radioactive leaking that should already deny using such an energy source at such places ?

-          Why are nuclear power plants built in such a seismic zone as Japan and moreover next to the sea where they can be hit by a tsunami ? A simple question, but are humans able to bring a simple answer to it ?

 

I. Geological data and explanation :

USGS is usually one good reference for earthquake-related data in the world and in the US.

Ref. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2011/usc0001xgp/

 

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ryrXAGY1dmE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Good explanation teaching material (PDF)


Magnitude 8.9 - NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

2011 March 11 05:46:23 UTC

Magnitude

8.9

Date-Time

Location

38.322°N, 142.369°E

Depth

24.4 km (15.2 miles) set by location program

Region

NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

Distances

130 km (80 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
178 km (110 miles) E of Yamagata, Honshu, Japan
178 km (110 miles) ENE of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
373 km (231 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

 

Read the good Summary : http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2011/usc0001xgp/#summary

Get an informative Map : http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2011/usc0001xgp/#maps

Poster of the Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011 - Magnitude 8.9
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/poster/2011/20110311.php

Thumbnail image of poster.

 

Earthquake Summary

Small globe showing earthquakeSmall map showing earthquake

Earthquake Location
Earthquake Location

 

Earthquake Location Maps
Location Maps

 

Did You Feel It?
Did You Feel It?
Tell Us

 

ShakeMap
ShakeMap

 

PAGER Earthquake Impact
PAGER Earthquake Impact

 

Historical Seismicity
Historical Seismicity

 

Seismic Hazard Map
Seismic Hazard Map

 

EQ Density Map
EQ Density Map

 

 

 

 

Additional Information

 

Teachable Moment Presentation

Animations and Visualizations


II. Tsunami


Closeup Viewcloseview  Event Locationearthview  Travel TimesClick on image  Alert Statuswwareas







http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/13/lhz2nd/01/ttvulhz2nd-01.jpg






III. Before and After effects of the tsunami

Very impressive pictures from satellite, aerial photographs, Google maps demonstrating the unstoppable strenght a tsunami has on its path and the devastating effects it has on everything near the shore. it goes up to 2 to 5 Km inland.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/13/world/asia/satellite-photos-japan-before-and-after-tsunami.html

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm


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