Tsunami Striking a Landscape

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This Demonstration simulate the effect of a tsunami near a landscape. The 2D wave equation is used to represent the movement of the tsunami from the sea to the mainland. Effects such as sea level and the center and amplitude of the wave can be used to estimate the damage caused by the wave. The amplitude of the wave decreases with time. The time it takes for the wave to move over the land can be estimated.

Contributed by: Quang-Dao Trinh (April 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The movement of the tsunami has been calculated using the Mathematica built-in function NDSolve for the 2D wave equation:


The 3D view (left) and 2D view (right) can be used at the same time to compare the movement of the wave with the elevation of the mainland.

Despite the decrease of the amplitude of the wave with time (from Snapshot 1 to Snapshot 3), a high amplitude wave can cause huge damage to the mainland. The near wave (Snapshot 4) is more dangerous than the far wave (Snapshot 5).

The landscape is generated randomly based on the Demonstration "Changing Sea Levels" by Herbert W. Franke.

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