Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquake And Tsunamis

As in the devastating earthquake and tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean several years ago, the disaster that occurred in Japan a couple of days ago reignites interest in learning more about tectonic plates, the cause of earthquakes, and tsunamis. PhysicsCentral has a short intro on this subject.

We also have articles that might appear to be in poor taste. This item describes why you can't surf on a tsunami wave. What is interesting is the comments generated by this article. A reader thought it was done in poor taste, while another didn't direct it to the article, but rather a news story that there were people who actually planned on surfing the waves that were about to his the US shoreline. The latter is certainly an activity done in very poor taste and judgment.

I personally do not think this is done in poor taste. The article is actually explaining the difference between those regular, giant waves we often see people surfing on. It is a normal question to ask why that is any different than the tsunamis. So in the process of answering why one can't (and shouldn't) surf on a tsunami wave, one learns about the physics of ordinary waves and tsunami waves. Maybe the premise of such explanation could be done in a different way, but that's the common question that many of us have seen in this situation. No better way to deal with it than to answer it directly.


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