Unfortunately, tsunamis are not as easy to reliably predict as tornadoes and hurricanes. The mechanics behind their generation and sustainment are still not entirely understood. Some massive and easily detectable undersea earthquakes will not create a tsunami while other, far smaller and weaker earthquakes may generate dreadfully powerful tsunamis.
Why are tsunamis difficult to predict?
Historical records show where earthquakes frequently occur . Plate tectonic theory also predicts where earthquakes will occur . Neither historical records nor current scientific theory can accurately tell us when earthquakes will occur . Therefore, tsunami prediction can only be done after an earthquake has occurred.
While I was researching we ran into the question “Why are tsunamis so difficult to predict?”.
One way to consider this is difficult to predict and detect : This is because they have a small wave height offshore, and a very long wavelength (often hundreds of kilometers long). For this reason they can pass unnoticed at sea, forming only a slight swell usually about 12 inches above the normal sea surface.
Can people predict when a tsunami is going to happen?
While scientists can trace the path of the wave energy, and predict when and where the waves will hit, what they can’t do is predict the earthquake that triggers the tsunami. Bernard has been studying tsunamis for 40 years, probably longer than anyone, as a geologist with NOAA’s Tsunami Research Center in Seattle.
How accurately can a tsunami be predicted?
Neither historical records nor current scientific theory can accurately tell us when earthquakes will occur . Therefore, tsunami prediction can only be done after an earthquake has occurred. Tsunami waves behave in a predictable way. The speed of a tsunami is controlled by ocean depth (deeper=faster).
How can scientists predict when a tsunami will happen?
Tsunamis are detected by open-ocean buoys and coastal tide gauges, which report information to stations within the region. Tide stations measure minute changes in sea level, and seismograph stations record earthquake activity. A tsunami watch goes into effect if a center detects an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or higher .
You could be asking “What are some ways tsunamis can be predicted?”
Volcanoes can form when two tectonic plates in Earth’s crust collide. Volcanoes can spew hot gases, rock, ash and lava. Volcanologists measure earthquake beneath volcanoes to predict future eruptions.
Following the Sumatra Tsunami in 2004, NOAA stepped up its efforts to detect and report tsunamis by: Developing tsunami models for at-risk communities. Staffing NOAA warning centers around the clock. Expanding the warning coverage area. Deploying Deep-ocean Assessment and Report of Tsunamis (DART) buoy stations. Installing sea-level gauges. Offering expanded community education through the Tsunami, and ready program.
What do you do if you see a tsunami coming?
• Get to higher ground as far inland as possible. Watching a tsunami from the beach or cliffs could put you in grave danger. If you can see the wave, you are too close to escape it. • Avoid downed power lines and stay away from buildings and bridges from which heavy objects might fall during an aftershock.