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Thread: tsunami?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Question tsunami?

    i was just spinning the world on google earth and i spotted somthing i think i might be a tsunami! it might just be a wave chrashing but it seems a bit strange because it is just in the middle of the ocean! what do you think?
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Captain Hornblower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Koblenz, Germany


    It's a reef or atoll. You don't see a tsunami on the ocean. You won't see it even if you are on a ship and the tsunami overtakes you. In shallow waters the tsunami becomes a lethal killer.

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  3. #3
    Administrator Mickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    It's the French Frigate Shoals.

    Turn on items in the "Geographic Web" folder in the "Layers" section, then zoom in. More info should pop up.

    Still, it's a cool find!

  4. #4
    Junior Member JavaGAR's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    New York State, USA



    The reason that you would not be able to see the tsunami in the open ocean is that its wave height is very small compared to its wavelength while it remains in the open ocean.
    In the open ocean, the waves are at most several meters high spread over many tens to hundreds of kilometers in length.
    - from USGS: Life of a Tsunami

    However, if aerial imagery is taken as the tsunami hits the shoreline, it could show up very well.
    A tsunami can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and smash into land with waves as high as 100 feet or more.
    - from FEMA: Tsunami

    See also Wikipedia: Tsunami

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