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Aug 26 / Dave Schumaker

Sumatra Quake – Waves Reached Around the World

Waves from tsunami generated during the Sumatra Earthquake last December reached around the world. Analysis of data recorded by tidal gauges and satellites shows that the wave traveled around the world several time and that characteristics of the ocean floor caused some locations far away from the epicenter to experience higher waves than places located closer to the epicenter. Wave heights recorded at Callao, Peru, 11,400 miles east of the epicenter of the quake that caused the wave, and at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 14,400 miles west, were higher than at the Cocos Islands, located just over 1,000 miles south of the quake, the team noted. The unusually high waves so far from the quake site result from two factors, the main east-west direction of the wave’s energy and the focusing mechanism of the deep-sea ridges, Titov’s team reported. The first tsunami wave arriving at the Cocos Islands peaked at about 12 inches, the team said. By contrast, waves arriving at Callao and Halifax topped 20 inches, the team reported.

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