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Tsunamis Generated by Megathrust Earthquakes

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Published on Mar 26, 2014

Earthquakes Subduction-zone mega-thrust earthquakes, the most powerful earthquakes in the world, can produce tsunamis through a variety of structures that are missed by simple models including: fault boundary rupture, deformation of overlying plate, splay faults, and landslides during earthquakes. From a hazards viewpoint, it is critical to remember that tsunamis are multiple waves that often arrive on shore for many hours after the initial wave.In this animation we explore different tsunami-producing mechanisms by examining three famous earthquakes: Japan 2011, Chile 2010, and Alaska 2014.

Written & directed by Robert F. Butler, University of Portland
Animation & graphics by Jenda Johnson, Earth Sciences Animated
Narrated by Katryn Wiese, City College of San Francisco
U.S. Geological Survey consultants:
Peter J. Haeussler, Alaska Science Center
Robert C. Witter, Alaska Science Center;
Reviewed by Susan Beck, seismologist, University of Arizona and George Zandt, seismologist, University of Arizona
Funding from the National Science Foundation

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