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Further Investigations: Tsunamis

  1. Consult references and report on how tsunamis caused by earthquakes are related to plate tectonics, the movement of enormous crustal plates that form the solid surface of our planet.
     
  2. Do tsunamis caused by glacier calving, meteorites, and underwater explosions cause as much destruction as those caused by volcanoes and earthquakes? What is your evidence?
     
  3. Historical records indicate that large tsunamis occur periodically in earth’s history. For example, scientists report that in Australia in the past 200 years, the maximum run-up of a tsumani was six meters. However, the geologic record indicates that there was an ancient mega tsunami of at least 100 m.
    1. How do scientists detect evidence of ancient tsunamis?
    2. What is the height of some of the highest ancient tsumanis? Where did they occur?
       
  4. Make a timeline of the history of tsunamis in your region or a coastal region on the Pacific ocean basin you would like to visit. How often do they occur? What was the height of the most severe tsunami?
     
  5. Research how the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center detects tsunamis and issues bulletins.
     
  6. Research a tsunami that was very destructive to understand more about why it caused so much damage.
    1. What caused the tsunami?
    2. What geographic features contributed to the destruction?
    3. What ecological and property damage was caused by the tsunami?
    4. How did the affected areas rebuild? Were any structures put in place to mitigate destruction from future tsumanis?
    5. What technology is in place to warn people of tsunamis in the future?

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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.