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Real-World Problems Being Solved By Mathematicians

Tsunami Warning Systems

Real-World Problem

How can we warn people before a tsunami occurs, so that they escape before the waves reach the shore?

Being Solved by Mathematicians

A tsunami occurs when an underwater earthquake sweeps huge waves of water onto shore. A major tsunami hit Japan in March 2011, killing thousands of people.

Mathematicians, computer scientists and earth scientists work together to study models of tsunamis created with math software. They record seismic conditions and sea levels, spotting patterns that hint at an impending tsunami.

When we have advanced warning of a tsunami, people may be able to evacuate the area in time, and lives are saved.
Tsunami Warning System
Japan Tsunami Aftermath

Try Your Hand ...

A large rectangular area within international waters must be monitored for tsunamis. Can you arrange 12 tsunami detectors so that the entire area is monitored?

Activity Sheet

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