Tsunami!: an Article Review

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Running Head: TSUNAMI!: AN ARTICLE REVIEW Tsunami!: An Article Review Abstract This paper is a review of an article by Frank Gonzalez titled Tsunami! Gonzalez’s article was published in May 1999 in the Scientific American. In addition to providing a synopsis of Gonzalez’s article, this paper will briefly discuss related environmental principles and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s tsunami threat warning system. Tsunami!: An Article Review Frank Gonzalez’s article Tsunami!, published in May 1999, discusses the science behind a tsunami and threat detection while providing an edifying description of the damage a tsunami creates. A tsunami is a series of extremely long and powerful waves. These enormous natural disasters can be generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or landslides, to name a few. Oceanic earthquakes, the leading producers of tsunamis, create large powerful waves that can cause great destruction. These waves are caused by the shifting of the plates and subsequent movement along faults (cracks) of the seafloor that initiate disturbances of the waters above (Mackenzie, 2003, p57). An earthquake’s magnitude, depth and fault characteristics determine the initial size of a tsunami. Features that influence the size of a tsunami along the coast are the shoreline, the velocity of the sea floor deformation, the water depth near the earthquake source, and the efficiency which energy is transferred from the earth's crust to the water column. Gonzalez briefly discusses the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) tsunami warning and reporting system known as the Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART). This warning system was developed to ‘track tsunamis and report them in real time’ (Gonzalez, 1999). The first generation DART system became operational in 2003 with the second generation coming on
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