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Tsunami: Waves of Destruction
This data tip describes the science behind the tsunamis caused by the great earthquake of December 26, 2004, which caused catastrophic damage and loss of life throughout the Indian Ocean basin. The discussion centers on how tsunamis are generated and how great quakes and resulting tsunamis occur at subducting plate boundaries. Links to more detailed information are embedded in the text. An exercise is included in which students plot the locations of cities around the Indian Ocean basin on a map of tsunami travel times. Discussion questions and links to additional information are also provided.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Structural geology
  • Natural hazards
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright Sea Grant Marine Advisory Services, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, College of William and Mary. Unless otherwise noted, Bridge webpages may be reproduced for non-profit educational use provided Virginia Sea Grant, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the National Marine Educators Association are credited.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-007-505
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Lisa Ayers Lawrence
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Sea Grant Marine Advisory Services