Sea Floor Earthquake Zones Can Act Like a Magnifying Lens Strengthening Tsunamis
Maximum recession of tsunami waters at Kata Noi Beach, Phuket, Thailand, before the 3rd, and strongest, tsunami wave (sea visible in the right corner. 26 December 2004). Receding tsunami waters at Kata Noi Beach. Caption and photo source: PHG
The earthquake zones off of certain coasts, like those of Japan and Java, make them especially vulnerable to tsunamis, according to a new study. They can produce a focusing point that creates massive and devastating tsunamis that break the rules for how scientists used to think tsunamis work.
Until now, it was largely believed that the maximum tsunami height onshore could not exceed the depth of the seafloor. But new research shows that when focusing occurs, that scaling relationship breaks down and flooding can be up to 50 percent deeper with waves that do not lose height as they get closer to shore…