NOAA Map of Japanese Tsunami Wave Height

In case you haven’t seen it yet: This isn’t directly defense-related, but it’s still interesting. It’s a plot created by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing the projected wave size from the Tsunami that rocked Japan on Friday. See how the chart maxes out at 240 centimeters. That’s almost eight feet. There are reports the wall of water that tore through Japan was more than 12 feet high in places. Our thoughts are with the victims.

Here’s another chart of the the waves:

  • Sev

    If only we could target and create earthquakes like the movie “The Core”

    • skeeter0079

      yes but if the technology that was in “Core” existed don’t you think we would have the same problems that they had in the movie?

    • Logix

      We can do that my friend, and we are already doing it! Trust me, in this world nothing is forbidden, everything is permitted!

    • NKelly

      SO THIS IS THE DIRECTION THAT THE RADIATION FALLOUT IS GOING TO HIT 1ST…..nice, enjoy the next few years everyone.

  • david

    gee lucky indonesia and malaysia was there, i dont think QLD could handle any more disasters

  • Steven

    Atleast all that stuff from japan didnt happen in LA even tho its really sucks for everyone in the world that watched japans devestation unwrap. I wish we could of prevented that earthquakeand tsunami. so many lives would of been saved.

  • thatsbogus

    Somebody at NOAH may want to throw a rock in a puddle so that they can understand the natural concentric ripples of waves and how the inverse square law applies to it in a practical sense. The colorful model provided shows sustained red streaks of energy that conveniently display very little loss of momentum along the corridors that reach the western coastlines of north and south America.

    Aside of the exponential natural loss of energy that takes place with distance, there are wind and current factors that combined with changes in both the depth and contours of the ocean floor will quickly dissipate a wave over a relatively short distance.

    The image provided makes for good artwork, but is hardly factual lest the Island of Japan had been erased.

    • blight

      Projected energy is basically ten-fold drop over by the time it hits the United States. What I find odd is why it channels towards the southeast for so far. Is it a ocean topology thing…?

      • skeeter0079

        wave energy in the ocean is carried primarily by the wind and only goes down so far… like maybe 5 or 6 meters below the surface

        • Liam

          But this is a tsunami. A completely different kind of wave with, I imagine, almost nothing to do with the wind. That’s why they are so destructive. A wind created wave of 1m will do nothing at all. 1m tsunamis have destroyed villages.

    • John F

      As you say, winds and currents play a part as does the topography of the ocean floor and the Coriolis effect. This map is not intended to be factual but to project where the danger areas might be. A rock in a puddle is a very simple model and does not come close to the level of complexity we are seeing here.

  • Will

    It’s NOAA, not NOAH. It’s fascinating how the waves did not propagate in a circular pattern but varied in height in different directions. It would be nice to see a follow up story about the causes of that, although it probably won’t be at this website.

  • Don

    It would be perfect, concentric circles if the seafloor were perfectly flat, having an equal depth, however, as relative water depth increases, wave speed increases to a certain limit. Also, as waves cross trenches and over depth variances they tend to turn to be perpendicular to them. I don’t know the exact topography of the Pacific, but I am sure that is what caused most of those patterns.

    That was a really simple version of a complex theory of wave propagation, but I hope it helped in some way!

    Source: Coastal Engineer

  • Little Craig Sherry

    There is a documented wave height of 10 metres in several locations. The 12 feet mentioned here is obviously an average height. Footage from the air would justify a far higher wave height than 12 feet.