Simulation Video Shows Ripple of Tsunami Waves After Chile Quake

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

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It's hard not to be entranced by the rippling waves of a propagating tsunami in this simulation video created by the National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Although the destructive potential of such waves is enormous, watching their progress across the ocean is fascinating.

The visualization, created to simulate the 8.2 earthquake that struck just off the northern coast of Chile on April 1, shows how the effects of a such an event reach a global scale, though not immediately.

It's also a reminder that our oceans, though far larger than a pond or puddle, still operate according to similar principles. Watching the waves propagate across the Pacific, bending around islands and interfering with each other, one can almost imagine it's actually a world-shaped tidepool in which someone has just dropped a pebble.

The Chile earthquake was, very fortunately, not the kind that produced enormous tsunamis like those that have hit Japan and Indonesia in the last decade. To see what those may have looked like from the same top-down perspective, visit the PTWC's YouTube page, where those and other historic tsunamis are simulated.