I had to share this graphic from the Center for Tsunami Research at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, showing the modeled propagation of the tsunami triggered by yesterday’s earthquake in Chile. The color scale indicates height of the tsunami in centimeters. The various flame-like filaments and streaks are due to constructive and destructive interference of the peaks and troughs, visible in this mesmerizing animation (also from the PMEL).
The tsunami did not cause much serious damage anywhere, in thankful contrast to the earthquake itself, which has left over 700 dead. This graphic is a strange and beautiful picture of the propagation of a vast amount of potentially deadly energy across our planet’s “ocean hemisphere.”