Japan earthquake moves its coastline by 13 feet

March 14th, 2011 - 1:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Mar.14 (ANI): Massive 8.9 quake in Japan has moved its coastline as much as 13 feet, averaging eight feet along a stretch measuring 300 miles, according to the Geographical Survey Institute.

According to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology it has also shifted the Earth on its axis by 10 inches.

Some waves reached six miles inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan’s coast.

Kenneth Hudnut, geophysicist in U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program in Pasadena, said: “At this point, we know that one GPS station moved, and we have seen a map from GSI in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass.”

When an 8.8 earthquake hit Chile in 2010, NASA scientists said it also tilted the Earth’s axis, although much less, at only 2.7 milliseconds of arc, which shortened days by a microsecond, said Richard Gross, a researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The New York Daily News quoted him as saying: “The movement is linked to the release of the strain that builds up when one tectonic plate grinds against another in a subduction zone.”

Andrew Miall, University of Toronto geology professor said: “Ten inches sounds like quite a lot when you hold a ruler in front of you”, “But if you think of it in terms of the Earth as a whole, it’s absolutely tiny: it’s minute.”

The quake and tsunami which struck Japan has killed hundreds of people, created 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways and tossed cars and boats like toys. (ANI)

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