Great Japan quake generates 8-foot tsunami in California

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 23:00 GMT le 11 Mars 2011

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A great earthquake rocked the coast of Japan at 5:46 GMT on March 11, generating a dangerous tsunami that raced across the Pacific. The mighty earthquake was rated 8.9 on the Richter scale, making it the 7th most powerful tremor in world history. The world's 8th largest earthquake, a magnitude 8.8 event, hit Chile on February 27, 2010; never before have two top-ten earthquakes hit so close together in time. Today's quake was the strongest in Japanese history, and will likely be the most expensive natural disaster in world history, surpassing the $133+ billion dollar price tag from Hurricane Katrina.


Figure 1. Model-computed energy from the March 11, 2011 tsunami as visualized by the NOAA Visualization Lab.

In the U.S., the highest tsunami waves from the earthquake hit northern California and southern Oregon, with a wave height of 8.1 feet observed at Crescent City, CA, 8.6 feet at Port San Luis, CA, 8.7 feet at Arena Cove, CA, and 6.1 feet at Port Orford, OR. The tsunami swept four photographers out to sea in the Crescent City harbor, injuring three of them and leaving one missing. Extensive damage was done to the harbor and 35 boats. Up to $2 million in damage also occurred in the Santa Cruz harbor south of San Francisco.


Figure 2. Tide gauge at Crescent City, CA during the March 11, 2011 tsunami. The green line shows the height of the tsunami wave; the red line shows the observed water level. The highest tsunami wave came at at 17 UTC (9am PST), an hour and 10 minutes after the initial wave, and was 7 feet high. Image credit: NOAA.

Crescent City was hit by a devastating tsunami after the March 28, 1964 magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Alaska, which killed ten people in the city and destroyed much of the business district. The city is fortunate today that the tsunami hit at low tide, or else water levels would have been five feet higher in the city during the wave. The tide gauge at Crescent City, CA (Figure 2) shows that at least 18 separate tsunami waves have hit the harbor as of 2:45pm PST. The first wave came at about 15:50 UTC (7:50am PST), was about 2.5 feet high, and was not preceded by the ocean falling and water being sucked out to sea. After this initial wave, the ocean level dropped rapidly by 8 feet, and then a series of large waves began rushing in and out, with up to a 13 foot difference between low water and high water. The rapid speed of the in-rushing and outflowing waves were what did the damage to the harbor and its boats. The largest wave came at 17 UTC (9am PST), an hour and 10 minutes after the initial wave, and was 8.1 feet high. Fortunately, this wave came near the time of low tide, and the wave was only 2 feet above last night's high tide mark. Tidal range between low and high tide is about 5 feet at Crescent City. The tide is now rising, and new tsunami waves with height of 3 - 4 feet are still rushing in and out, with the one just before 21 UTC (1pm PST) reaching a height about 2 feet above high tide.


Figure 3. Propagation of the March 11, 2011 Honshu tsunami was computed with the NOAA forecast method using the MOST model with the tsunami source inferred from DART® data. From the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, located at NOAA PMEL in Seattle, WA.

Portlight.org is mobilizing to provide financial assistance to people with disabilities affected by the disaster, and there will undoubtedly be a huge relief effort by numerous charities in the wake of the earthquake. Your financial contributions and prayers for those affected will be valuable.

Jeff Masters

Waves (Feather3)
During our tsunami warning that had been downgraded to an advisory, this afternoon. It was getting closer to high tide, but it was strange, watching the surges: one minute, the beach was bare, and within minutes, a surge would build up as wave after wave, low, but surging, would inundate the beaches....more shots to come.
Waves

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Quoting aquak9:
Squally- you are new here, right?

don't post stuff unless you are 100% sure, ok? cause folks here, will gladly tear you a new one.

Pottery, Nea, NorthernEyewall- hello friends. Just an unsettled soul here, looking for hope.

Maybe I should look for chocolate instead.


I am new, but have watched for months. I am only reporting exactly what CNN is reporting.
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Squally- you are new here, right?

don't post stuff unless you are 100% sure, ok? cause folks here, will gladly tear you a new one.

Pottery, Nea, NorthernEyewall- hello friends. Just an unsettled soul here, looking for hope.

Maybe I should look for chocolate instead.
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They are saying it is catastrophic failure and that widespread radiation may be released. I sure hope everyone has evacuated.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
That hoax graphic showing the radiation plume was posted here early this morning, and almost immediately yanked by the poster after it was found to be false.

Clarification: 2212: It is the number three reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant where officials have just announced that the cooling system has failed. This morning's blast took place at the number one reactor at the same plant. "All the functions to keep cooling water levels in No. 3 reactor have failed at the Fukushima No. 1 plant," a spokesman for the operator said.

This contradicts earlier reports that it was Plant No. 3.

In any event, this is a most serious situation.
It sounds like it is getting worse as well.
With faults in the cooling systems, how do you stop it melting down?
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CNN says a meltdown may be under way.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



Well, this is a different story.... ??
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That hoax graphic showing the radiation plume was posted here early this morning, and almost immediately yanked by the poster after it was found to be false.

Clarification: 2212: It is the number three reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant where officials have just announced that the cooling system has failed. This morning's blast took place at the number one reactor at the same plant. "All the functions to keep cooling water levels in No. 3 reactor have failed at the Fukushima No. 1 plant," a spokesman for the operator said.

This contradicts earlier reports that it was Plant No. 3.
Member Since: 8 novembre 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Eh, the poster may not know it is a hoax. It has been circulating around the internets.


I am glad it is a hoax. If that were real, then I would think the media would be sounding the alarm.
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Post 668, Thank you.
I thought as much...

LOL Atmo.
Slowly dying is the only way to go.
Enjoy the ride.
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Well...we all know what we need to do to anyone who post a "hoax" pic at this time. Use the button folks.


Eh, the poster may not know it is a hoax. It has been circulating around the internets.
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heh heh heh

hi atmo

poor attempt at humor here

(waves white flag)

don't taze me, bro
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Quoting atmoaggie:
And...how exactly would that person know it was a hoax? Or are you insinuating that he or she created it?


I'd make sure it wasn't a hoax before I posted A pic as disturbing as that one.
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Live translated to english broadcast.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/7497266
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Quoting pottery:

Anyone want to explain RADS ?
How serious is 750 RAD??


Member Since: 15 juillet 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Well...we all know what we need to do to anyone who post a "hoax" pic at this time. Use the button folks.
And...how exactly would that person know it was a hoax? Or are you insinuating that he or she created it?
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Well...we all know what we need to do to anyone who post a "hoax" pic at this time. Use the button folks.
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Quoting aquak9:


They'd grow extra arms, and have antennae
-no wait, that's plutonium and uranium.

This is cesium. Uhmm...

(thinks hard) - slow death for everyone affected.
Isn't that the default condition, anyway?
Just sayin'
*atmo goes back to slowly dying...as if he stopped it somehow*
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting SquallyWx:
If post 653 were to come to fruition, what would happen to those living on the west coast of the USA?


They'd grow extra arms, and have antennae
-no wait, that's plutonium and uranium.

This is cesium. Uhmm...

(thinks hard) - slow death for everyone affected.
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Quoting pottery:

Anyone want to explain RADS ?
How serious is 750 RAD??


That map is a hoax.
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Quoting number4steel:
it can happen here, just research realfoot lake in tenn.
in was in the early 1800's i belive when this lake was formed by an earthqauke. because it was frontier country, there was never an exact number on the loss of life , but it isnt frontier country anymore, and that area is overdue
Of course it can happen here. It can happen anywhere.

Even my south Louisiana high school had a fault line running through campus (discovered after a few buildings were constructed straddling it, unfortunately). And that's certainly not a place one usually associates with moving fault lines, but I can assure you that those buildings were condemned and bulldozed 35 years after construction due to half of each moving 8 inches the other half didn't. (Which was obvious from the outside when you could stick your whole arm into the gaps between the bricks...)
Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting number4steel:
it can happen here, just research realfoot lake in tenn.
in was in the early 1800's i belive when this lake was formed by an earthqauke. because it was frontier country, there was never an exact number on the loss of life , but it isnt frontier country anymore, and that area is overdue
That was the New Madrid earthquake. Check it out, its worth a look....Link
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it can happen here, just research realfoot lake in tenn.
in was in the early 1800's i belive when this lake was formed by an earthqauke. because it was frontier country, there was never an exact number on the loss of life , but it isnt frontier country anymore, and that area is overdue
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Huh. I didn't realize that Greece through Iran was that seismically active.

Member Since: 16 août 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting pottery:

Anyone want to explain RADS ?
How serious is 750 RAD??


Just waiting for some "brain" to explain it,also.
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Quoting islander101010:
they made better and cheaper cars than the american companies for yrs one of the reasons why was cheap energy

Not cheap energy. Everyone had that...
The vehicles were better Engineered.
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Quoting jwh250:

Anyone want to explain RADS ?
How serious is 750 RAD??
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they made better and cheaper cars than the american companies for yrs one of the reasons why was cheap energy
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If post 653 were to come to fruition, what would happen to those living on the west coast of the USA?
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Quoting jwh250:


This is almost turning me off to nuclear power. I thought it was so safe.
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655. srada
Quoting jwh250:


Okay thats scary..I just hope this will not come into play..
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I can't figure out how to upload an avatar for myself.
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Member Since: 15 juillet 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
One danger that may be overlooked is the lack of food. They are showing people in Tokyo trying to find food and they can't. This reminds me that I need to take a look at my emergency food rations for myself.
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BBC have posted this on the side of their Live News.

2123: Reuters: The emergency cooling system is no longer functioning at the Fukushima No. 3 reactor, an official from Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has told journalists.
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This just in:

2123: Reuters: The emergency cooling system is no longer functioning at the Fukushima No. 3 reactor, an official from Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has told journalists

For the record, Fukushima No. 1 is where the explosion occurred, so this is new.

From Chicklit's comment #643: "In 2002, the president of [TEPCO, the operator of the plant] was forced to resign along with four other senior executives, taking responsibility for suspected falsification of nuclear plant safety records."

Just warms my heart. Ah, nuclear power. You gotta love it...
Member Since: 8 novembre 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626
dont trust them they need un atomic personal on site
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Quoting RitaEvac:
We do better in here on this blog getting info than the media


I just watched the Spanish national TV 9pm news,
They had pictures from helicopters of the places where towns had 'been' and lots of shots of concrete buildings still standing like hospitals and govt buildings but they were standing in water, so its probably certain that some land has dropped below sea level. Whole towns had disappeared; as they showed before and after shots.

They said that the death toll was now over 2000 but vast numbers of people were missing, the mass devastation was indescribable in some of the images.

They said 46,000 people have been evacuated from near the nuclear plant.

Here near Barcelona got 6 inches of rain today and we have lots more forecast for tomorrow.
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Excerpt from Japan status article published a little over an hour ago by Reuters:

NO REPEAT OF CHERNOBYL - EXPERTS

The blast at the nuclear plant raised fears of a meltdown at the power facility.

But experts said Japan should not expect a repeat of Chernobyl. They said pictures of mist above the plant suggested only small amounts of radiation had been expelled as part of measures to ensure its stability, far from the radioactive clouds Chernobyl spewed out 25 years ago.

The wind at the disabled plant was blowing from the south, which could affect residents north of the facility, Japan's national weather forecaster said, adding the direction may shift later so that it blows from the north-west toward the sea.

Plant operator TEPCO has had a rocky past in an industry plagued by scandal. In 2002, the president of the country's largest power utility was forced to resign along with four other senior executives, taking responsibility for suspected falsification of nuclear plant safety records.

Many Japanese flooded social networking sites with worries about the plant.

"I can't trust TEPCO," said a person with the handlename Tanuki Atsushi on mixi, the Japanese social networking site.

ReutersLinkonYahoo
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Japan Earthquake/Tsunami 2011:

A massive 8.9 earthquake struck Japan on March 11, 2011. Tsunamis with waves as high as 7 metres have devasted the northeast coast, wiping out entire towns. Casualties are mounting, and the death toll is expected to be in the tens of thousands.
Member Since: 15 juillet 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
Wiki Excerpt on Domoic Acid:

...In 1958, domoic acid was originally isolated from the red alga called "doumoi" or "hanayanagi" (Chondria armata[2]) in Japan...

The increasing frequency and geographic extent of toxic algal blooms along populated coastlines is generally attributed to human activities....

...Considerable recent research has been carried out by the Marine Mammal Center and other scientific centers on the association of domoic acid-producing harmful algal blooms and neurological damage in marine mammals of the Pacific Ocean.

Domoic acid can bioaccumulate in marine organisms such as shellfish, anchovies, and sardines that feed on the phytoplankton known to produce this toxin. DA can accumulate in high concentrations in the tissues of these plankton feeders when the toxic phytoplankton itself is high in concentration in the surrounding waters.

...In mammals, including humans, domoic acid acts as a neurotoxin, causing short-term memory loss, brain damage and, in severe cases, death.

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cant believe acc/ to google news there are four of the nuck plants leaking over there in japan heard storys back in the 70s and 80s about how a meltdown can cause everlasting serious problems
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Toxin found in sardines that clogged US marina
Sat Mar 12, 2:17 am ET

LOS ANGELES – The millions of sardines that were found floating dead in a Southern California marina this week tested positive for a powerful neurotoxin, researchers said Friday.

High levels of domoic acid were found in the sardines, which may have distressed them off the Los Angeles coastline and caused them to swim into the Redondo Beach marina, University of Southern California biologist David Caron wrote in a summary of his laboratory's findings which were reported by the Los Angeles Times...

Link


Domoic acid is produced by algal blooms, which have increased in size and extent. Wikipedia has a brief article on the subject and a couple links to papers linking the increase to human activity.
Member Since: 31 octobre 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1570
The USGS site I monitor uses UTC Time, (Coordinated Universal Time), beginning at 00:01 hours and running to 24:00 hours.

Yesterday there were 131 earthquakes including the initial 8.9.
Today there have been 114 so far as of 20:09 hours.
Still a little less than 4 hours to go on todays list. :(

Link
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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