Fire Earth

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Energy Released by Japan Mega Quake

Posted by feww on March 13, 2011


Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has just upgraded the Sendai Megaquake from a Magnitude 8.8 to a 9.0Mw.

Energy released by Japan’s M8.9 M9.0 Mega Quake and its ongoing aftershocks could reach 1.45 a total of 2.02 exajoules (EJ)

The Sendai Megaquake released about 1.41 2.0 EJ of energy (the equivalent of about 340 480 megatons, or 24,000 34,000 Hiroshima bombs).

[NOTE: TNT equivalent is a method of quantifying the energy released in explosions. The megaton is a unit of energy equal to 4.184 petajoules.]

The Aftershocks

As of posting, some 175 significant aftershocks (≥5.0Mw) have been reported since the Megaquake struck.

Moving Honshu to the East

The Megauake moved  Japan’s main island of  Honshu 2.4 m (8 feet) to the east, said a USGS geophysicist.

Geologists at the University of Tokyo say the earthquake shifted the Earth’s axis by about 10cm.

The movement also sped up the Earth’s rotation by about 1.6 microseconds, NASA said.  [Don’t forget to adjust your clocks!!]

The Sinking Land

Some of the stress energy destroyed structures along the eastern coast of Honshu, and split the ground. As a result the land surface in many areas of Miyagi prefecture has sunk by about 70cm (2.2 ft), trapping water brought in buy the deadly tsunami waves.

[A colleague informs us that according to Japan’s Civil Defense manuals people should climb to the third floor of buildings in case of a tsunami. The deadly Sendai Tsunami had reached the fifth floor—about 15 meters high—in many areas!]

The Giant Tsunami

Rest of the energy was used to trigger a giant tsunami. The following image shows the energy map of the Tsunami spawned by the Sendai Megaquake.

Energy Map of Japan’s Tsunami Spawned by the 9.0Mw Megaquake

Source: NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

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