Saturday, March 29, 2014

Geo 730: March 29, Day 453: Torn

The power of the Tohoku tsunami is beyond my comprehension. As you can see from the scale, this dock was constructed to withstand practically any contingency- but not this terrible wave. The holes in the concrete on the west end originally anchored a pair of I-beams. At this time, there was one remaining on the east end. But the force of the tsunami didn't just twist and deform those sturdy pieces of steel, it tore them right out. I'm sorry to belabor this artifact, but the fact is, it has given me a wholly new respect for- and frankly, fear of- tsunamis. This is, in part, why I just don't feel as if the small section preserved at the Hatfield Marine Science Center does the situation justice. The enormity of the whole dock, and the way the wave just wadded it up and spit it out are not captured in a way that illustrates its awful power.

Photo unmodified. July 10, 2012. FlashEarth location (approximate).

1 comment:

Lyle said...

Actually for a demonstration closer to home they should look for the forests that were killed in OR and Wa by the 1700 quake. (The land dropped and the trees were drowned). The sand laid down at the time defines the limits of the tsunamis, just like it did in Japan where there were remnants of an earlier tsunami that ran up as high as the 2011 event.