Posts tagged tsunami
The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear Power Plant continues. After hearing much talk about the various reactors, the evacuation zones and so on, I got curious as to what, exactly the scale of the event really was. That curiosity, plus a couple hours of work in Depiction, turned into a pretty extensive depiction of the region surrounding the power plant.
The depiction includes data and imagery from:
- The New York Times report on the model used by the US government to determine suggested their evacuation zone.
- The Wikipedia article on the power plant
- The Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (via Wikimedia Commons)
- The US Army Map Service, via the University of Texas
- The USGS Shakemap Archive
- NGA shapefiles of flooding & damage
- And, of course, OpenStreetMap
I hope this will be valuable to anyone who is trying to get a sense of the situation in Japan–it also happens to very nicely demonstrate Depiction’s powerful capabilities in combining multiple diverse types of data, which is nice, too.
If you have any questions–or suggestions–please post them in the comments!
UPDATE: I’ve uploaded a new version of the depiction–yesterday the US Department of Energy released a map that outlined the results of aerial radiation monitoring in the Fukushima area. I’ve included that map, as well as shapes extrapolated from that information. I’ll put up a post later about how I did that.
Additionally, I added a new batch of earthquakes from the USGS feed. It appears that the links included in the epicenters of quakes older than 7 days no longer work. That is, unfortunately, due to the way that the USGS outputs their data and archives older quakes. You can still find them, if you’re really curious, here–but only for the next couple weeks.
With the advent of the Depiction Reader, we’re starting a new feature called “Depiction of the Week”. Each week we’ll feature a depiction that you can open with either the Reader or the full version of Depiction. Are you a Depiction user with a Depiction you’d like to see featured? Click here to submit it.
This week’s depiction is this Honolulu Tsunami simulation. This depiction was originally built back on February 27, 2010. That was the day when an 8.8 magnitude quake hit just off the coast of Chile, and a tsunami warning was issued for the entire Pacific. Hawaii underwent its first tsunami evacuation since 1994, and waves of 8 to 9 feet were predicted.
Fortunately, the waves ended up being far smaller than predicted, but there were tense hours when that was unclear. During those hours, I happened to be far away from the office and my usual computers. As it happened, I was at a wedding, with nothing but my wife’s netbook. Still, I wanted to use Depiction to quickly show what the potential impact of waves of different heights could be.
Fortunately, I was able to snag some time and some wifi, and created this post with links depictions of Hilo Bay, Honolulu, and, at the request of a commenter, Kahului Bay on Maui, each with simulations of 6, 9 and 12 foot inundations.
The depiction presented here is the one created for Honolulu, with a few more elements added–specifically schools, hospitals and evacuation zones, all retrieved from the very thorough Hawaii Statewide GIS program.
A few caveats: the Depiction flood model is a very simple one, built to give a rapid potential impact (even when just using a netbook!) by showing what an increase in water level from a certain point would look like, based on the elevation data contained in the Depiction. The elevation data I used was that provided through Depiction’s Quickstart feature, and is 30-meter DEM data from the USGS (this means that the elevation was measured every 30 meters). Using higher resolution elevation data–where the elevation was measured every 10 meters, for example–would likely give different, more accurate results, though it would also increase the file size.
Fortunately, the tsunami that hit Hawaii was nothing like what was feared. The experience did provide an opportunity, though, to demonstrate how easily Depiction’s flood element can simulate things like tsunami inundation and storm surges. It’s one example of a very simple but powerful tool that Depiction has–just drop a flood in the water body, input your total feet, and Depiction will calculate the extent based on the elevation data. I just used the basic 30-meter data Depiction pulls in through a quickstart, but any data type will work, and you can get higher resolution data for much of the US, at least, from the USGS Seamless website.
The story behind my post yesterday is also moderately interesting–I was out of the house all day, at a wedding and running various other errands. The only computer I had access to was a $300 netbook that had never run Depiction. I wasn’t quite sure it would work, but once I got it installed it ran beautifully, even on 1GB of RAM.
Kim Buike also put together a short little video that demonstrates a bit more of how Depiction’s flood model can be used in tsunami simulation:
Last night, an 8.8 magnitude quake hit off the coast of Chile (you can download the shakemap for use in Depiction here). There is now a tsunami warning in effect for much of the Pacific. Much of Hawaii, in particular, is evacuating, as waves are expected to start hitting in just a couple hours.
I’ve quickly built a depiction with possible tsunami inundation zones for Hilo Bay, where the waves are expected to hit first. I’m hoping to build others as the day goes on.