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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Scientists To Look At Ocean Floor Of Quake Area

Japanese oceanographers and geologists are working together with German scientists to see if they can find evidence left behind on the ocean floor (North Pacific Ocean) from the March 11, 2011 9.0 Magnitude Tohoku earthquake.

The science team is looking for geomorphic evidence of the earthquake by looking at the shape of the sea floor and to see if they can figure out what caused exactly that shape to occur. They expect that there might be some physical change to the sea floor after the two-minute and 30-second earthquake.

That earthquake, along with a large amount of seismic energy, also triggered the deadly tsunami that crippled the northeast coast of Japan in Honshu killing some 20,000 people.

Their best guess before the exploration is that the tsunami was caused by the sea floor lifting during the quake by as much as five meters. The size of the tsunami may also have been aided by rocks sliding into the water from the shifting of the Japanese continental shelf caused by the earthquake.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

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