Earth Science

A:

While an immediate effect of a tsunami is the destruction of life and property, tsunamis also create a health crisis. Not only do tsunamis wipe out buildings and carry many of the things in their path away, they leave behind a crippled infrastructure that makes it extremely difficult to provide basic services to the people who survived.

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  • How are striations formed?

    Q: How are striations formed?

    A: Striations are a common feature of rocks that have once been overlain by a moving glacier. The scratches on the rock face are generally straight and all are oriented in the same direction, matching the downhill flow of the ice.
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  • What are some interesting facts about icebergs?

    Q: What are some interesting facts about icebergs?

    A: Fresh water is turned into an iceberg by the splitting or calving of glaciers. Bergs also vary wildly in shape and can be steep or irregular with rounded or flat tops. Because wind and water erode them, they constantly shift shape.
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  • What are different types of tornadoes?

    Q: What are different types of tornadoes?

    A: There are six different types of tornadoes. The most commonly recognized type is the supercell tornado, the type that causes massive destruction. A gustnado is the opposite; it is very weak. It causes leaves and other debris to swirl around on the ground during a storm.
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  • What is the smallest volcano in the world?

    Q: What is the smallest volcano in the world?

    A: Cuexcomate is considered the world's smallest volcano, with a diameter of 75 feet. Cuexcomate is located in a suburb of the city of Puebla, N.M. It is considered an inactive volcano.
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  • How does the sun affect the Earth?

    Q: How does the sun affect the Earth?

    A: The sun provides the Earth with energy in the form of heat, which it uses to warm the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere. The heat energy found in the atmosphere is one of the major components of the Earth's climate and climate change, according to Windows to the Universe.
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  • Can we stop the polar ice caps from melting?

    Q: Can we stop the polar ice caps from melting?

    A: Whether or not humankind can keep the polar ice caps from melting is a subject of great debate in which both side cite scientific studies that support their positions. The bulk of scientific and environmental organizations, however, believe that humans can slow or even halt the melting of polar ice caps and global warming by reducing the use of fossil fuels and other man-made chemicals.
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  • What is the difference between local winds and global winds?

    Q: What is the difference between local winds and global winds?

    A: The term global winds refers to the six major wind belts that encircle the globe. Local winds, however, are the winds, or breezes, that are stirred up by the temperatures and topographical features of a small region or area. This is especially true of coastal areas.
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  • Can tornadoes be predicted?

    Q: Can tornadoes be predicted?

    A: While it is currently not possible to predict a tornado with certainty, organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issue tornado watches and warnings to areas experiencing tornado-friendly weather conditions. A watch is issued when a tornado is likely to occur, while a warning indicates a more immediate threat.
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  • What is the Great Blue Hole?

    Q: What is the Great Blue Hole?

    A: The Great Blue Hole is an underwater sinkhole frequented by scuba divers for its numerous species of tropical fish and its clear blue waters. Measuring 984 feet across and 410 feet deep, it is located off the coast of Belize, about 62 miles away from Belize City.
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  • What are the parts of a wave?

    Q: What are the parts of a wave?

    A: Transverse waves have two parts: a crest, which is the highest point of the wave, and the trough, which is the lowest part of the wave. Longitudinal waves also have two parts: compression, which are areas of high molecular density, and rarefactions, which are areas of low molecular density.
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  • What is a person who studies rocks called?

    Q: What is a person who studies rocks called?

    A: A person who studies rocks is called a geologist. Geologists also study how the Earth is made and how the planet changes in time.
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  • What are man-made resources?

    Q: What are man-made resources?

    A: Man-made resources are items or substances that have value to human lives that do not occur in the natural world. Examples of man-made resources include plastic, paper, soda, sheet metal, rubber and brass. These contrast with natural resources, such as water, crops, sunlight, crude oil, wood and gold.
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  • How are rift valleys formed?

    Q: How are rift valleys formed?

    A: Rift valleys form when tectonic forces deep underground exert a pulling force on the terrain. In areas where this occurs, the land splits into a steep-walled valley with a flat floor. Rift valleys can be very narrow, especially early in their formation.
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  • How are quartz crystals grown?

    Q: How are quartz crystals grown?

    A: Quartz crystals are grown and manufactured using an autoclave. The process creates hydrothermal quartz, which are also known as cultured or synthetic quartz.
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  • What is the frost line depth in New York City?

    Q: What is the frost line depth in New York City?

    A: The average frost line depth in New York City is 36 inches. The frost line is the average depth in which the ground water in soil usually freezes. This is also referred to as "frost depth" or "freezing depth."
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  • Where is the windiest place in the world?

    Q: Where is the windiest place in the world?

    A: According to the American Museum of Natural History, Antarctica is the windiest place on earth with winds that are regularly exceed 100 miles per hour. Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica regularly experiences winds in excess of 150 miles per hour.
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  • What are the four biogeochemical cycles?

    Q: What are the four biogeochemical cycles?

    A: The four biogeochemical cycles include the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the phosphorous cycle and the nitrogen cycle. These four cycles involve biology, chemistry and geology and describe the flow of nutrients and waste products on Earth.
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  • Why is the Mississippi River important?

    Q: Why is the Mississippi River important?

    A: The Mississippi River is important due to its necessity in American commerce. Cities such as New Orleans, St. Louis and Minneapolis all get water from the river.
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  • What is ecological balance?

    Q: What is ecological balance?

    A: Ecological balance is a theory stipulating that natural conditions, including numbers of various animal and plant species, remain stable on their own through variations over time. The theory, also known as balance of nature, also holds that natural equilibrium can be changed significantly by new species entering an ecosystem, the disappearance of some species, man-made changes to the environment or natural disasters.
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  • Why is rain important?

    Q: Why is rain important?

    A: Many forms of land-based life depend on fresh water, which comes from rain. Humans depend on rain to fill aquifers. Rain also plays a role in shaping the landscape and bringing nutrients to the ocean.
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  • What are the two main types of glaciers?

    Q: What are the two main types of glaciers?

    A: The two main types of glaciers are continental glaciers and alpine glaciers. Continental glaciers are also known as ice sheets because their form and flow are not significantly affected by underlying geographic formations. Alpine glaciers form on mountains and flow down mountain valleys.
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