The world's fifth-largest, 8.9 magnitude quake was caused when the Pacific tectonic plate dove under the North American plate, which shifted Eastern Japan towards North America by about 13 feet (see NASA's before and after photos at right). The quake also shifted the earth's axis by 6.5 inches, shortened the day by 1.6 microseconds, and sank Japan downward by about two feet. As Japan's eastern coastline sunk, the tsunami's waves rolled in. end quote.
So, as it says above one of the reasons that the tsunami came ashore so easily was that it was helped by the permanent sinking of the Japanese coast by 2 feet. I wonder if airports and planes landing in Japan know that Eastern Japan has moved 13 feet closer to North America. That might be important in heavy weather landings so planes would find the landing field and not something else under their wheels as they land.
Later: My daughter was wondering if Japan was going to continue to sink during the aftershocks because of their ongoing intensity and ferocity.
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