Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Near Japan

See the latest Scripps information for the magnitude-8.9 earthquake near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, on Friday, March 11.

• ANZA special event page for the Japan earthquake: http://eqinfo.ucsd.edu/special_events/2011/070/a/

•USArray special event page for the Japan earthquake: http://anf.ucsd.edu/spevents/2011/070/a/

• CDIP: A tsunami was generated after the earthquake which was recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean. The Coastal Data Information Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego's Pier pressure sensor is now showing the tsunami signal; it arrived at Scripps Oceanography at approximately 8:50 a.m. PST on March 11. CDIP Tsunami Events Page: http://cdip.ucsd.edu/?nav=historic&sub=datac&xitem=tsunami Preliminary analysis shows the tsunami arriving with an amplitude of over 40 cm and a period of 36 minutes.

• FROM THE CROW'S NEST: Tsunami Arrives from Japan into San Diego Bay Scripps Institution of Oceanography Senior Captain Eric Buck observed the impact from the March 11, 2011, tsunami on the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility (MarFac) on San Diego Bay, home of the Scripps oceanographic research fleet. Scripps operates one of the largest academic research fleets in the world, with four research vessels and the research platform FLIP. Since 1907, Scripps oceanographic vessels have played a critical role in the exploration of our planet, conducting important research in all the world's oceans.

In the words of Captain Buck: From about 1000 to 1025 this morning, we observed abnormal currents just off the MarFac waterfront. We saw strong currents flowing to the north past MarFac into the basin off La Playa. The tide was flooding at this time, but under normal circumstances the current is weak and unobservable. More dramatic is what we observed from about 1030-1045 as the basin off La Playa had been filled to an unnatural level and now the current had reversed and was flowing (rushing) back out of the bay in a southerly direction. A series of standing waves approximately 10-12 inches high was observed immediately north of MarFac's northern property line (see photos 1 & 2 above). This outward rush of water created much turbulence and discoloration in the waters off MarFac (see additional photos above). All the white caps and choppy waters are from colliding currents - not the wind (it's a calm day here).

A second, but weaker inflow/outflow was observed from about 1050 to 1120. As of 1:00 pm on March 11, similar surges were still occurring in San Diego Bay. Scripps research vessels in MarFac home port at the time of the tsunami were safely secured alongside the pier in preparation for currents anticipated from this amplitude event. Scripps ships around the world on March 11, 2011: Scripps Research Vessel Roger Revelle was safely in deep water off Taiwan. Scripps Research Vessel Melville remained in deep water offshore Chile until all threats from this event were over.

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