Activities

Tsunami Waves

Name: _________________________________       Date: _____________

Tsunami waves are the most frightening and destructive kind. Tsunamis race across the sea at speeds of over 500 miles per hour and arrive with little or no warning. In this activity, you'll explore wave data from the deadly Indonesian tsunami of 2004.

  1. A tsunami wave's height, or amplitude, is a good indicator of its damage potential. View how the amplitude of the Indonesian tsunami changed as it raced from the epicenter. The color scale to the right shows the wave amplitude in centimeters. What color shows the greatest wave amplitude?
  2. Based on the map, which countries were hit hardest by the tsunami? (Google a world atlas if you need help with country names.)
  3. How large were the waves hitting eastern Africa?
  4. How large were the waves hitting western Australia?
  5. Take a look at tsunami arrival times. The color scale shows how many hours it took for the waves to reach different locations. Which locations were struck within an hour?
  6. How long did it take for the waves to reach Africa?
  7. How long did it take for the waves to reach India?
  8. Explain why the number of deaths from the tsunami was highest in Indonesia.