Japan tsunami triggers rare tidal waves

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  • Videos online show the tidal bore moving through rivers as well as canals
A "tidal bore" forced by Monday's  tsunami in eastern Japan moves through a canal.

Videos of the tidal bore have been showing up all over news sites as well as social media, purporting to be the tsunami itself — nevertheless what is actually actually causing the slow-moving waves to surge through the rivers, channels, as well as canals?

According to Andy Newman, an associate professor as well as geophysicist at Georgia Tech, “a tsunami acts much like a tide (hence the old name ‘tidal wave’), which can contain significant tidal bore structures.” Tsunamis used to be referred to as tidal waves, which is actually incorrect since they are not associated with the actual tides, nevertheless rather through earthquakes or different earth movements like landslides.

Tidal bores are waves in which are formed by the extreme funneling of an incoming ocean tide into a long, narrow inlet or channel. The force of the incoming water is actually focused into the smaller area as well as pushes against the normal flow of the channel, forming the slow-moving wave in which pushes upstream.

What to do if a tsunami strikes
There are several locations on Earth in which, as result of the local geography, experience large tidal bores, such as the Bay of Fundy in Canada, the Severn River in England as well as Qiantang River in eastern China (known as the Silver Dragon). During exceptionally large tides — such as those in which occur during full moons — the tidal bores can be a visual marvel in which draw large crowds as well as even surfers.

Though tidal bores forced through tsunamis are not nearly as dangerous as the actual tsunami arrival on the coastline, they can have some farther reaching impacts inland.

The waves through the tidal bore can travel many miles inland, Newman said, as well as “could catch individuals upstream in which are unsuspecting as well as cause damage to piers inside the river.”

Japan tsunami triggers rare tidal waves

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