The Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami of March 11, 2011
In an earlier post, I mentioned that this month my students are studying natural hazards, natural disasters and the disaster preparedness cycle. As part of our unit, in addition to students completing community specific investigations, as a collective we have been studying the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster. This month marked the four year anniversary of this devastating tragedy. For my slice today, I will be sharing some surprising facts about the event.
Did you know?
- The Japanese earthquake registered at 9.0 on the Richter scale, making it the fourth largest earthquake ever recorded.
- The earthquake shifted Earth on its axis of rotation.
- The earthquake shortened the length of day by about a microsecond.
- More than 1,000 aftershocks have hit Japan since the earthquake, the largest a magnitude 7.9.
- The jolt moved Japan's main island of Honshu eastward by 8 feet (2.4 meters).
- The Pacific Plate slid westward near the epicenter by 79 feet (24 m).
- In Antarctica, the seismic waves from the earthquake sped up the Whillans Ice Stream, jolting it by about 1.5 feet (0.5 meters).
- The tsunami broke icebergs off the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
- As the tsunami crossed the Pacific Ocean, a 5-foot high (1.5 m) high wave killed more than 110,000 nesting seabirds at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
- In Norway, water in some fjords pointing northeast toward Japan (up and over the pole) sloshed back and forth as seismic waves from the earthquake raced through.
- The earthquake produced a low-frequency rumble called infrasound, which traveled into space and was detected by the Goce satellite.