Re: ode to Popular Mechanics

From: James Rogers (
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 13:15:27 MST

At 07:26 AM 2/6/2001 -0600, Chuck Kuecker wrote:
>How high do waves get, anyway?

In some locales with extreme tectonic activity and the proper geography
(some remote parts of Alaska, for example), there is strong evidence that
suggests that waves in excess of 1,000 feet occur on occasion. "Strong
evidence" because the regions are remote and generally uninhabited, and in
the few times when people were in the area when the USGS detected an event,
no one ever returned alive. The height of the waves are estimated by the
elevation of wave damage (basically how high vegetation has suffered salt
water damage). Note that in the deep ocean, tsunamis are rarely more than
a meter in height and will generally pass undetected by surface
vessels. The run-up only occurs at the coastline.

Typically though, waves rarely exceed 100 feet in height, whether from a
storm or geological activity.

-James Rogers

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