The Japan earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, also called the Great Sendai earthquake or great Tokuhu earthquake, was a severe natural disaster in northeastern Japan, off the Pacific coast of Tohuku. It was the most powerful earthquake in Japan, with a magnitude of 9.0-9.1, and caused a 30ft tsunami that damaged several nuclear reactors in the area and widespread damage in overall social, environmental, and economic costs.
The unexpected disaster and most powerful earthquake recorded in Japanese history, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, struck at 2:46 pm, lasting approximately 6 minutes. By offshore of Japan, along a subduction zone where two of Earth's tectonic plates collided. The tremors resulted from a violent uplift of the sea floor 80 miles off the coast of Sendai. They were separating the Eurasian plate from the Pacific plate. The earthquake occurred at the relatively shallow depth of 15 miles, meaning much of its energy was released at the seafloor, forcing the seabed and ocean upward and creating the tsunami. A recent study found that the earthquake ultimately released centuries of built-up stress between the two tectonic plates.
Where/how are tsunamis caused?
Earthquakes are caused by the breaking and movement of rocks along the Faultline where two plates collide. The abrupt release of energy causes seismic waves, making the ground shake. A tsunami is often formed by an earthquake or could be caused by volcano eruptions, underwater landslides, or a meteorite. The most common reason tsunamis are formed due to tectonic tsunamis. A tectonic tsunami is when plate tectonic forces force an oceanic plate into the mantle. This creates an enormous amount of friction resulting in a tsunami.
Tsunamis potentially threaten every coastal area. Scientists estimate that almost three-quarters or 80 percent of the world's tsunamis occur in the Pacific Oceans' ring of fire because the pacific rim bordering the ocean has many active submarine earthquake zones. Some places most affected by tsunamis are Alaska, Chile, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan.
Earthquakes often cause tsunamis; these are the most destructive tsunamis. An earthquake on the ocean floor can result in a sudden rise or fall of the earth's crust. The energy of the movement can cause the water above to height, creating tsunami waves. Most earthquakes that generate tsunamis occur in subduction zones, where pieces of the earth's crust push against each other. A subduction zone is when the earth's crust moves downwards towards the mantle and sinks beneath another plate.
How do tsunamis affect the four spheres?
Lithosphere: The Lithosphere is the solid outer part of the earth. This includes the brittle upper portion of the mantle and the crust, the outermost layers of the earths structure, and the entire surface of the planet. When waves come crashing at the land at tremendous speed it gathers rocks and sand and deposits it on ot...