Watch NOAA's Animation of the Tsunami Spreading Across the Pacific Watch NOAA's Animation of the Tsunami Spreading Across the Pacific
Technology

Watch NOAA's Animation of the Tsunami Spreading Across the Pacific

by Alex Goldmark

March 18, 2011

Islands and even underwater peaks can alter the direction of the wave energy. As you watch the video above, compare the ripples sent off in various directions with this image below, which shows the height of the ocean floor. (Hawaii looks like a little chain of dots peaking out over vast canyons of deep blue.) The few pacific floor peaks and islands speckled around the open ocean cause reverse ripples on the tsunami's course towards the Americas in the animation. 
For more on tsunami forecasting go here. For how to help Japan, go here.

Images and video: NOAA.

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Watch NOAA's Animation of the Tsunami Spreading Across the Pacific