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 AussieStorm:


The EESC presidents statement on the natural disaster in Japan and the Pacific region.

On behalf of the EESC, I should like to express my sympathy with all the families of the victims in Japan. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the people now struggling with the unfolding devastating effects of the earthquake in the Pacific region.

The human and material damage is immense, and the EESC members thoughts are with the Japanese people and government.

We express our support to our partners in those ACP countries potentially affected by this natural disaster.

This is a time for solidarity, and we urge the EU and other international organisations to provide immediate and appropriate assistance, if needed, to help governments and civil society organisations in the region deal with this tragedy. We also call on humanitarian civil society organisations to react quickly to provide support to Japan and all the other affected countries.

The earthquake and tsunami will clearly have a severe impact on the economic and social activities of the region. Some islands affected by climate change have been hit. Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming? Mother Nature has again given us a sign that that is what we need to do.

What would he mean by that?


They are a large advocay group which are attempting to mitigate countries and areas which might be affected by climate change. All he stated was that some of the island which have been affected by climate change were affected by the earthquake. There is no reference at all in the statement which ties the two together.
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Quoting JeffMasters:


NCDC rated Katrina at $133 billion, check out their list of billion-dollar disasters. Some estimates go as high as $150 billion, or as low as $70 - $80 billion.

Jeff Masters
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Most likely from the National Climatic Data Center

Shouldn't the information on this site be changed to reflect the true cost of Hurricane Katrina?
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482. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting AussieStorm:

Wiki says Katrina was US$90.9B(2011), I have no idea where Dr. Masters got the figure of US$133B


NCDC rated Katrina at $133 billion, check out their list of billion-dollar disasters. Some estimates go as high as $150 billion, or as low as $70 - $80 billion.

Jeff Masters
Quoting AussieStorm:

This is from this very site. US$81 billion.


Now where did Dr. Masters get the US$133billion he stated above. You can not dispute this fact.


Most likely from the National Climatic Data Center
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Warmist lemmings
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Quoting Grothar:


I didn't read anything in that article that stated the earthquake was in any way related to Global warming.


I should have also posted the Link that tied the two together.
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Quoting Grothar:


I didn't read anything in that article that stated the earthquake was in any way related to Global warming.


The EESC presidents statement on the natural disaster in Japan and the Pacific region.

On behalf of the EESC, I should like to express my sympathy with all the families of the victims in Japan. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the people now struggling with the unfolding devastating effects of the earthquake in the Pacific region.

The human and material damage is immense, and the EESC members thoughts are with the Japanese people and government.

We express our support to our partners in those ACP countries potentially affected by this natural disaster.

This is a time for solidarity, and we urge the EU and other international organisations to provide immediate and appropriate assistance, if needed, to help governments and civil society organisations in the region deal with this tragedy. We also call on humanitarian civil society organisations to react quickly to provide support to Japan and all the other affected countries.

The earthquake and tsunami will clearly have a severe impact on the economic and social activities of the region. Some islands affected by climate change have been hit. Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming? Mother Nature has again given us a sign that, that is what we need to do.

What would he mean by that?
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Earthquake (disaster) preparation ideas:
http://newamericamedia.org/2011/03/japans-tsunami -human-failings-not-natures-power-are-the-real-cal amity.php
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


The EESC which I don't believe are scientists, at least climate scientists.


Nope, they're not. I imagine they're referring to Nilsson's statement, chairman of the above committee in the EU. Worked on soil protection and usage of pesticides in committees as he comes from a political activist and farming background.

Not a scientist.

His statement was unfortunate in that he was misquoted - he didn't say that GW caused it, rather attempting to say that islands already under stress from climate change have now been hit by this disaster. Albeit badly.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


That's because its Wiki, I think I'll take Dr. Masters posting over Wiki

This is from this very site. US$81,000,000,000 = US$81 billion.


Now where did Dr. Masters get the US$133billion he stated above. You can not dispute this fact.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


The EESC which I don't believe are scientists, at least climate scientists.


I didn't read anything in that article that stated the earthquake was in any way related to Global warming.
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Quoting SquallyWx:


I believe this is worse than the Haiti quake, even if the death toll isn't nearly as high. A large earthquake in a developed nation will be very costly in monetary terms as well as resources.


Also, keep in mind, the death toll will get much higher I'm afraid to say. They cannot account now for all the dead, that tsunami probably killed far more than is currently understood.

The positive side is Japan's heaviest development and highest population is inland in higher terrain. If they built their biggest cities near the coast in low lands like us Americans we would probably see a death toll greater than 1 million.

Whatever the case, this is a horrible disaster, Japan being a smaller country, their whole economy will be slammed by this even as well.

For those of you of faith, please do pray for them. I sure am.
Member Since: 21 août 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7434
Quoting Cotillion:
Care to say which 'Europeans' according to Fox?

There are 500 million - nice to narrow down whom exactly.


The EESC which I don't believe are scientists, at least climate scientists.
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Care to say which 'Europeans' according to Fox?

There are 500 million - nice to narrow down whom exactly.
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Quoting SquallyWx:


I believe this is worse than the Haiti quake, even if the death toll isn't nearly as high. A large earthquake in a developed nation will be very costly in monetary terms as well as resources.


Radiation effects like cancer & other will take time to show...,
Member Since: 2 août 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814

Explosion At Japan Nuke Plant
IWAKI, Japan — An explosion at a nuclear power station Saturday destroyed a building housing the reactor amid fears that it could melt down after being hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

Large amounts of radiation were spewing out and the evacuation area around the plant was expanded but officials did not know how dangerous the leak was to people. Shinji Kinjo, a spokesman for the Japanese nuclear agency, could not say how much radiation was in the atmosphere or how hot the reactor was following the failure of its cooling system
.


Link
Member Since: 2 août 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
Quoting Jedkins01:
What a horrible disaster, I can't believe some are saying "its not that bad".

We've just begun to be told how bad it is, it may take a couple weeks for things to really set in.


I believe this is worse than the Haiti quake, even if the death toll isn't nearly as high. A large earthquake in a developed nation will be very costly in monetary terms as well as resources.
Member Since: 25 janvier 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
I'd like to see Fox's source, actually. Or, is this another "bat boy bites dog" story? I don't see anything on the website...
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What a horrible disaster, I can't believe some are saying "its not that bad".

We've just begun to be told how bad it is, it may take a couple weeks for things to really set in.
Member Since: 21 août 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7434
Minister: China pollution remains "very serious"
By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press Alexa Olesen, Associated Press Sat Mar 12, 3:10 am ET

BEIJING – Pollution in China remains very serious as the country's rapid economic growth brings on new environmental problems, with nearly 1,000 contamination incidents in the last five years, a minister said Saturday.

Vice environment minister Zhang Lijun said China has made progress on environmental protection, but acknowledged that its double-digit economic growth over the past decade has had negative impacts on the environment.

"Our rapid economic development has continuously brought our country new environmental problems, particularly dangerous chemicals, electronic waste and so on. These environmental pollutants bring new problems and impact human health," Zhang told a news conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's legislature.

He said that emissions of traditional pollutants remain high and some areas have failed to meet government targets.

China has pledged to continue reducing emissions this year of three key air pollutants — ammonia nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The government has also promised to bring down demand for chemical oxygen — a measure of water pollution — by 1.5 percent from the 2010 levels...

Link
Member Since: 2 août 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
I assumed this would be blamed on global warming. I'd like to see their reasons.
Member Since: 25 janvier 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
European officals blaming japan quake on global warming. I have heard it all now.
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For anyone that thinks steam explosions can't do much damage, the famous Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980 was primarily a steam explosion and following landslide. If memory serves me right, lava rose high enough into the volcano to superheat groundwater and faulting almost half the volcano. As the structure of the volcano weakened, the superheated water rapidly boiled into steam, blowing almost half the mountain away, although a fair amount of it was actually launched into a slide instead of an outright ballistic trajectory.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Wiki says Katrina was US$90.9B(2011), I have no idea where Dr. Masters got the figure of US$133B


That's because its Wiki, I think I'll take Dr. Masters posting over Wiki
Member Since: 21 août 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7434
Quoting Skyepony:
I was slumming around the navy's earth orientation site. It usually takes a few days before the axis shift & time is all neatly plotted. I found the daily files but I can't figure out what to use to open them. Second to last is .erp (earth orientation) for the day.
Those are either zip or gzip compressed. (Not sure why, they are tiny files)

You use Ubuntu. Try both methods.

I did open one of the igr_usn*.Z files by a windows machine using 7-Zip. Then it was text with details about the duration of the GPS week.

Opened an *.erp, but I have no idea what the values are. A format/units listing somewhere?
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BBC continuous earthquake aftermath coverage (with a occasional small breaks for British weather/etc)
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Looks like a oil tank to me. The metal structure nearby doesnot look like the cooling building at the nuke facility
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454. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


major tsunami warnings are gone now.
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In other news, one less on the unemployment rolls:

Joe Bastardi hired by start-up firm WeatherBell
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and you are telling me that this is not a meltdown?
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen#Combustion

"Pure hydrogen-oxygen flames emit ultraviolet light and are nearly invisible to the naked eye, as illustrated by the faint plume of the Space Shuttle main engine compared to the highly visible plume of a Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster. The detection of a burning hydrogen leak may require a flame detector; such leaks can be very dangerous."


Visible flames in a hydrogen explosion are generally caused by the burning of other materials.
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.
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Quoting emcf30:
According to FOX News, for what it is worth, they just stated the according to authorities, the core is now partically exposed but radiationlevels in the area are going down. How can this be?


If they blew the top off it, or an hole in the containment vessel, with explosive bolts or similar, then that would explain the brief 'orange flash' in the video.
Then they can pump in massive amounts of sea water and this will lower the temperature plus radiation levels by diluting the amount of radiation with the water.
We need a nuclear physicist on this one.
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1459: At least three residents evacuated from a town near quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 plant have been exposed to radiation, both Kyodo and NHK report

I've been listening to many "experts" on the matter over the last several hours, and none of them are quite willing to give the Japanese government the full benefit of the doubt. The consensus, such as it is, seems to be that a) the government hasn't been as forthcoming as they might, and b) until they can see evidence of exactly what comprised the explosion, they're not willing to say it was hydrogen/oxygen.
Member Since: 8 novembre 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13525
446. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
RSMC Reunion
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
16:00 PM RST March 12 2011
=============================================

East of 90E, north-west of Cocos Islands, convective activity remains fluctuating and loosely organized, but available NWP models analyze a broad low level circulation at the convergence between monsoon and trade winds inflows, centered near 10S 95E. Minimal estimated sea level pressure is 1005hPa. At the present time, upper level wind shear is moderate and is unfavorable for the development of this zone of disturbed weather. For the next 72 hours, NWP models are in good agreement for a track south-westward to westward and for a slow deepening of this LLCC. It should enter our area of responsibility on Monday.

For the next 36 hours, there is no potential for the development of a tropical depression. Beyond, potential becomes poor to fair at the extreme East of the basin.
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Night all, Stay safe, say a few prayers for the people of Japan.
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According to FOX News, for what it is worth, they just stated the according to authorities, the core is now partically exposed but radiationlevels in the area are going down. How can this be?
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JAXA's Mission Control Center for operations at the International Space Station got trashed in the quake..
(photos from spaceflightnow)


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If you replay the zoomed in portion of the video (right around 25 seconds) and watch closely there is a single frame in which an orange flame is visible. Granted, it's not exactly a "fireball" like you expect from a massive hydrogen explosion... but there is definitely combustion evident in the video.

Quoting PlazaRed:


I agree with you 100% on the no fireball thing, Ive watched it loads of times now.
If you mix hydrogen and oxygen in the right proportions you only need to add a spark but you get a fire ball and there isn't one.
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It's not a nuclear catastrophe. Yet.

A nuclear catastrophe is when the smoke and air start "sparkling", indicating radioactive material is being spewed into the air.

The explosion is most likely a steam explosion. And yes, steam explosion can produce shock waves. Steam explosions can and have destroyed buildings quite easily.

Shock waves are nothing more than a rapid increase in pressure over a short period of time. They can be cause by ANY pressurized vessel that suddenly gives way. Even popping a balloon creates a minuscule shock wave.
Member Since: 31 octobre 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
Quoting RecordSeason:
Here's another balloon explosion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5MJhuaXUlc&NR =1

Again, we see a fireball.

On the nuclear explosion at the reactor, we see no fireball. We see a mostly vertical shock wave explode through the roof of the building.


I agree with you 100% on the no fireball thing, Ive watched it loads of times now.
If you mix hydrogen and oxygen in the right proportions you only need to add a spark but you get a fire ball and there isn't one. So according to an earlier post they said''effots to depressurize the container were successful''
I think and only think but it fits the evidence that the top blew off it, rather like a big pressure cooker, IE it got de-pressurised and the escaping pressure caused the apparent explosion, its also interesting that the explosion doesn't keep spreading outwards after a short distance.
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Has anyone heard about the town of Minamisanriku with more than half it's residents unaccounted for. About 19,000 people live there. It's just terrible.
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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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