Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tsunami: No Joking Matter

The think I love the most about geological hazards is how much power mother earth has. It could totally wipe us out. I previously spoke about earthquakes and the mass destruction they can do. The most powerful type of earthquake is at a subduction zone. That is when one tectonic plate collides with another and one plate is subducted under the other. The huge amount of friction gives greater strenght to deformation and a very nasty break when it slips. The highest recorded earthquake at a subduction zone (and anywhere on the earth) was classified as a 9.2 on the moment magnitude scale. That scale is a logorithmic function where as an earthquake classified as a 2 would be 10 times more powerful than one classified as a 1. So a 9.2 is over a billion times more powerful than a 1. Another danger of a subduction zone slipping is it will create tsunamis. When the ocean suddenly goes far out to sea, head for high hills because a tsunami is about to hit! If that makes you nervous, maybe you should move inland.
Another Selection For Your Gee Wiz Collection:
The tsunami that recently occured in Sumatra released so much energy when it slipped, it would be similar to over 10,000 bombs that landed on Hiroshima.


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