Physics of Tsunami

Leo Pan

Physics 420

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of British Columbia


This presentation introduces students to tsunami, which many countries and lives have been affected in recent years. The presentation is aimed for students in Physics 11 who have been exposed to wave mechanics in class. Students will be able to explain the behavior of a tsunami using what they have acquired in previous classes. A java applet was written to simulate the propagation of tsunami, focusing on the drawback effect (refer to the PowerPoint presentation).


Figure: Aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami


PowerPoint Presentation (.ppt format with animations)

PowerPoint Presentation (.pdf format without animation. Right cilck to "Save link as" first, then open the file.)

Links to animations used

Java Applet demonstrating drawback effect and propagation of tsunami.

Source file to the java applet.

Here, students can have access to an interactive map of bottom pressure sensors located across the world to obtain real time water heights information.