Tsunami “shadows” visible from space

Published On: September 1, 2009Categories: Industry News

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have detected open-ocean tsunamis using satellite radars that measure sea surface texture. Forecasting the direction and intensity of a tsunami might one day be possible with this technology.

Large tsunamis stir up and darken ocean water on the leading edge of the wave. The rough water forms long, shadow-like strips that are parallel to the wave and proportionate to its strength. Traditional beliefs have held that tsunamis are too subtle to be seen, however these findings challenge those ideas.