Chilean earthquake: impact of the tsunami

March 8, 2010

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a page with some interesting information about last week’s earthquake in Chile, but what really stood out for me was this chart of the predicted wave heights around the globe resulting from the associated tsunami:


Click to enlarge: it’s a fascinating chart. Although labelled a forecast, from the explanations on the page it appears to be based on observed wave heights at various monitoring stations (with model-based interpolations between them, I assume). This really was a hemispheric event, with impacts around the entire Pacific basin. Clearly though, the impact on the Chilean coast was extreme. Unfortunately NOAA doesn’t have a similar chart for the devastating Boxing Day 2004 tsunami; it would be interesting to compare them. (By the way, although you can easily create charts like this in R, I’m not sure whether R was used for this one or not.)

West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, NOAA/NWS: Offshore Maule, Chile Tsunami of 27 February 2010

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