A tsunami is a natural disaster that can cause extreme devastation through initial impact and subsequent flooding. Tsunamis are giant waves that are caused by seismic activity, either from an earthquake or a volcano eruption. In 2004, a large tsunami caused by a high-magnitude earthquake struck along the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and Somalia, killing more than a quarter million people and leaving countless more homeless. When simulating a tsunami, it is best to use a clear tank so that you can see the wave activity under the water's surface.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 36 inch x 4.5 inch x 6 inch Plexiglass tank
- Rubber cement or clear aquarium glue
- 18 inch x 4 inch Plexiglass panel
- 11 inch x 4 inch x 3 inch block of Plexiglass
- 2.27kg. bag of aquarium gravel
- 5 inch wide wooden panel
- Model trees, people and buildings
Insert the 18 inch x 4 inch Plexiglass panel into the tank. You will want to insert it on the side in which the wave will be created. Glue the panel so that it sits at a 45-degree angle relative to the side of the tank. About half the panel will end up higher than the side of the Plexiglass tank.
Insert the 11 inch x 4 inch x 3 inch Plexiglass block on the other side of the tank. Glue the block so that it sits at about a 55-degree angle relevant to the side of the tank.
Fill the tank with about 2.75 inches of water. If you want to increase the authenticity of the model, you can add a few drops of blue food colouring to give the water some colour.
Glue the wooden panel to the edge of the tank opposite the side where the wave will begin.
Glue your model people, trees and buildings onto the wooden ledge to represent land.
Hold the bag of aquarium gravel about a foot above the tank on the side where the wave will begin.
Dump the gravel into the tank and observe what happens. See how the waves affect the fake village you created.
Tips and warnings
- You can vary the size of the tank and the Plexiglass panels to see how these adjustments affect the size and speed of the waves.
- If your are cutting your own Plexiglass, be careful when handling sharp objects.
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