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The Orphan Tsunami of 1700: Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America
This text relates a scientific detective story through clues from both sides of the Pacific. In the year 1700, a mysterious tsunami flooded fields and washed away houses in Japan. It arrived without the warning that a nearby earthquake usually provides. Samurai, merchants, and villagers recorded the event, but nearly three centuries would pass before discoveries in North America revealed the tsunami's source, a large earthquake off the west coast of Canada and the United States.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Illustration - scientific
    • Map
    • Photograph
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
  • Natural hazards
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Information presented on this website is considered public information (unless otherwise noted) and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. We strongly recommend that USGS data be acquired directly from a USGS server and not through other sources that may change the data in some way.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-009-139
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth's history
        • Structure of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural hazards
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural and human-induced hazards
  • National Geography Standards:
    • Environment and society:
      • How physical systems affect human systems
    • The world in spatial terms:
      • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: United States Geological Survey
Geopubs


Author: Brian Atwater
Geology
United States Geological Survey