Earthquake and Tsunami Strikes Japan

On Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC an earthquake occurred near the East coast of Honshu, Japan, 373 km NE of Tokyo Japan with a preliminary magnitude of 8.9-according to USGS. The first footage available from Japan shows extensive devastation and flooding due to the tsunami and large fires on refineries from the earthquake.

The USC Tsunami Research Center staff have previously run likely scenarios for tsunamis due to earthquakes of similar magnitudes off the coast of Japan on the boundary between the Pacific and North America plates. One of these scenarios abbreviated as Japan II appears to be close to the great tsunamigenic event in Japan of March 11 (max wave height along the north Pacific) is shown on Fig.1.

The results of our Japan II scenario therefore offer a preliminary approximation that can be used for reference. Few images showing expected waveheights on selected parts of the coast of California are shown below (Figs 2 and 3).

The movie above shows an approximation to the tsunami waves generated by an earthquake in Japan based on an earlier scenario that resembles closely the M8.9 Japan earthquake of March 11, 2011. The movie shows the area of Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor and vicinity in Southern California.

See warning for California here.

Live Science explains tsunami origin here, with an interview with Aggeliki Barberopoulou.

More updates for this tsunami can be found here.

[Simulations generated by Geoff Legg and Aggeliki Barberopoulou. For information on the contents of this page please contact Professor Barberopoulou.]

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