Study of recent tsunamis sheds light on earthquakes



In the space of one year, three major destructive tsunamis, or seismic sea waves, devastated coastal regions of Nicaragua (September 2, 1992), Flores Island, Indonesia (December 12, 1992), and Hokkaido, Japan (July 12, 1993). The maximum run-up heights of each of these tsunamis were more than 10 m, and a total of about 1500 people were killed. Field surveys were made for these tsunamis and reported in Eos [Satake et al., 1993; Yeh et al., 1993; Hokkaido Tsunami Survey Team, 1993]. The survey teams, typically consisting of scientists and engineers from various fields, documented the behavior of the tsunamis in detail. Tsunami survey data are used for various types of research, ranging from coastal behavior of tsunamis to past and future earthquakes.