RESOURCES: Waves of Destruction

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Science  03 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5689, pp. 1381
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5689.1381c

On 1 April 1946, a strong earthquake hoisted the sea floor near the Aleutian Islands, unleashing 35-meter waves that rolled across the Pacific Ocean (left). The massive ripples were still 12 meters tall when they walloped Hawaii, killing 159 people. To learn more about the causes and consequences of towering waves, visit the International Tsunami Information Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Tsunamis—which can result from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, meteorite strikes, or other upheavals—arise worldwide but are most common in the Pacific because of its size and seismic activity. Along with data on recent events, check out vivid descriptions of tsunamis from the last 60 years and the gallery of devastation. For a quick overview that includes samples of nifty computer simulations, try this tsunami primer from the University of Washington.

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