Tsunami Tragedy Explained At J.L. Scott - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/28/04

Tsunami Tragedy Explained At J.L. Scott

Todd Adams is an instructor at the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center. He often does power point presentations about storms.

"Tsunami is a wave created by seismic forces or something falling into the water," he said.

To understand a tsunami, Adams suggests you think about a swimmer on a diving board.

"I kind of relate it to someone doing a cannonball in a pool," he said.

When a swimmer crashes into the water, his force creates waves that spread across the pool.

"It isn't a wind driven wave. It's a wave created by some sort of force," said Adams.

Waves lapping against the end of the pool were the result of the force Adams referred to.

The Scott Aquarium instructor uses a wave tank to teach students about tsunamis.

"If you have an underwater earthquake, the land is either going to move up or move down," he said, pointing to the tank.

"If it moves up, it pushes a bubble of water up and propagates the wave. If it moves down, it's going to pull water down and propagate energy and create a wave that way also."

Through Adams' research, he's learned there's usually a tsunami somewhere in the world once a year. Waves grow to 40 feet. And they rush toward land at speeds similar to jet airplanes.

The Christmas tsunami that rolled across the Indian Ocean and slammed into southeast Asia killed more than 52,000 people. And the death toll keeps rising.

So can tsunamis roar across the normally tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico? According to textbooks, the answer is yes -- but it's extremely rare.

A falling comet apparently caused the last Gulf tsunami -- 66 million years ago. That's why Adams isn't rushing out to get tsunami insurance.

"I wouldn't think we would have a great worry about them," he said. "I wouldn't rule out anything though, being in the science field, anything is possible."

Tsunamis are generated by underwater earthquakes, volcanoes or land slides. They are not tidal waves. Scientists say people incorrectly use that phrase when they talk about tsunamis.

by Brad Kessie

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Wet stretch of days ahead

    Wet stretch of days ahead

    Monday, July 16 2018 8:45 AM EDT2018-07-16 12:45:23 GMT
    Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.

    Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.

    More >>

    Projected rainfall amounts are in the two to three or inch range or higher for South Mississippi through Wednesday, according to a Monday forecast.

    More >>
  • Neighbors speak well of the man killed in a trailer park fire

    Neighbors speak well of the man killed in a trailer park fire

    Sunday, July 15 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-07-16 02:42:58 GMT
    Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)
    Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)Afternoon showers did not make it any easier to fight the flames coming from the trailer (Source: WLOX)

    Calvin Doty was walking from his trailer to the see the maintenance man when he saw something that made him panic. 

    More >>

    Calvin Doty was walking from his trailer to the see the maintenance man when he saw something that made him panic. 

    More >>
  • WLOX- News This Week Barry Lyons

    WLOX- News This Week Barry Lyons

    WLOX- News This Week Barry Lyons

    We talk with former major league baseball player, Barry Lyons, about the Biloxi Shuckers' winning the South Division first half championship and what is in store for the team in the Southern League Playoffs. 

    More >>

    We talk with former major league baseball player, Barry Lyons, about the Biloxi Shuckers' winning the South Division first half championship and what is in store for the team in the Southern League Playoffs. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Fake police officer busted after trying to pull over real deal

    Fake police officer busted after trying to pull over real deal

    Monday, July 16 2018 3:34 AM EDT2018-07-16 07:34:54 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 3:34 AM EDT2018-07-16 07:34:54 GMT
    Matthew Disbro, 44, told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these made it harder for them to do their jobs. (Source: Arizona DPS/KPHO/KTVK/CNN)Matthew Disbro, 44, told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these made it harder for them to do their jobs. (Source: Arizona DPS/KPHO/KTVK/CNN)

    The man told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these make it harder for them to do their jobs.

    More >>

    The man told troopers he was just trying to protect the public, but law enforcement officers say actions like these make it harder for them to do their jobs.

    More >>
  • Kidnapping victim escapes captors with help from cashier

    Kidnapping victim escapes captors with help from cashier

    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:21 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:21:20 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:41 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:41:29 GMT

    Deputies arrived with their guns drawn and stormed the store.

    More >>

    Deputies arrived with their guns drawn and stormed the store.

    More >>
  • Girl, 7, killed crossing highway to find dad help after alleged drunken crash

    Girl, 7, killed crossing highway to find dad help after alleged drunken crash

    Monday, July 16 2018 7:01 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:01:17 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 7:01 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:01:17 GMT
    The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing charges of drunken driving and possibly further charges. (Source: WXYZ/CNN)The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing charges of drunken driving and possibly further charges. (Source: WXYZ/CNN)

    The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing a charge of drunken driving and possibly further charges.

    More >>

    The girl’s father is now behind bars, facing a charge of drunken driving and possibly further charges.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly