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Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an overview of the major earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011—one of the largest ever recorded globally. She explains the...
Dr. Isaac Ginis presented "Eye on the Storm: Predicting a Hurricane's Path of...
Tsunamis, giant waves caused by underwater earthquakes, speed across the ocean...
How should you prepare for a hurricane? Students from Bay High School in Bay St...

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Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which break and produce strong...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to...
When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on...

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I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how...
I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how various things in nature worked. Unfortunately, most information about...
The ocean moves in many ways, one of which is the shape of a wave.
At the entrance of most beaches, there is a bulletin board with notices about water conditions: maybe a faded sign warning about rip currents and a list of this week's tide tables. Most people pass...
From the water, red mangroves appear to form an impenetrable tangle of roots, trunks, and leaves—a protective barrier against storms and tsunamis. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves...
When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on humans. These intense wind events also cause great damage to the ecosystems (pdf) they touch. They harm marine animals by...
This map shows volcanoes of Central America and within the Caribbean Sea. The red triangles represent volcanoes known to have erupted in recent time (within the last 10,000 years) and white stars are...
Dr. Isaac Ginis presented "Eye on the Storm: Predicting a Hurricane's Path of Destruction", in October 2010. This second installment of the Changing Tides lecture series featured Dr. Isaac Ginis, a...
What do you get when you mix together a hurricane, the remnants of a wintry midwestern storm, and cold Arctic air? The " Frankenstorm ," which is what the US National Weather Service renamed...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to locations around the world. Changes to the coast and ocean floor as well as sediment flow can change the nature of a wave as it...
But what path, precisely, did this pumice take to reach Belize from the Guatemalan Highlands? Maps of drainage networks that reach the Gulf of Honduras and currents in the western Caribbean Sea are...
Orange shaded areas are major drainage basins of Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras that contribute sediment to the Caribbean. Wind and current patterns are represented by red and black arrows,...
Geophysicist Jian Lin of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and chief U.S. scientist aboard the Chinese oceanographic ship DaYang Yihao studied the earthquake site that triggered 2004’s Indian...
Even when viewed from space, Hurricane Irene looks sizable. When a NASA satellite took this image on August 23, 2011 the storm was 410 miles in diameter, with clouds covering eastern Cuba. Irene is...
Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an overview of the major earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011—one of the largest ever recorded globally...
Since 1902, more than 40 centimeters of mangrove peat could have accumulated at the Belize site, enough to entrap and bury small pieces of pumice. But Juan’s vexing questions persisted: Why hadn’t...
Tsunamis, giant waves caused by underwater earthquakes, speed across the ocean at 400 miles per hour. Early warning systems, such as NOAA’s DART systems, are key to saving lives. Today, 47 DART...
Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which...
We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their effects on coastal wetlands? Until Hurricane Katrina, no one had ever mapped...
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