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Wave That Shook the World homepage

How do tsunamis move as fast as jetliners in the open sea? Why does the ocean often recede before these deadly waves appear at beaches? How much time do you have to get safely away once you see the sea retreat?

You might find answers to some of your questions about tsunamis elsewhere on this "Wave That Shook the World" Web site. But some queries may require outside help, and that's why we approached tsunami expert Lori Dengler of Humboldt State University.

Below, see Dengler's comprehensive responses to questions emailed to NOVA by viewers. Please note: We are not accepting any new questions.



Lori Dengler

Lori Dengler

Dr. Dengler on the site of the 2001 tsunami at Camana, Peru

Lori Dengler, Ph.D., is Professor of Geology at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and an expert on tsunami hazards and mitigation. She was a member of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) Steering Committee from 1996 to 2003 and authored the Strategic Implementation for Mitigation Projects for the NTHMP. Dr. Dengler was the first recipient of NOAA's Richard Hagemeyer Tsunami Mitigation Award for her leadership and involvement in the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group; community education activities in Del Norte and Humboldt counties, California; and other activities promoting and supporting tsunami mitigation. She was a member of post-tsunami survey teams to Papua New Guinea (1998) and Southern Peru (2001). Currently she is studying the tsunami hazards of San Francisco Bay and is completing a monograph on the 1964 tsunami in Crescent City, California.

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Wave That Shook the World
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Wave of the Future
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Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert
Tsunami expert Lori Dengler answers viewers' e-mailed questions.

Anatomy of a Tsunami

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Follow the life cycle of the 2004 tsunami on this interactive map.

Once and Future Tsunamis

Once and Future Tsunamis
Learn about ten deadly tsunamis—and where the next could strike.



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