Black Tsunami

Revealing the destructive power and aftereffects

In the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, many survivors described the tsunami as being black. The latest research has determined why. In Kesennuma, the tsunami scraped the sea floor of the port city's bay, churning up massive amounts of sediment and sludge. Analysis of the actual water residents had preserved and simulation by a supercomputer suggest that the inclusion of the sediments made the water more destructive, wiping out buildings and taking lives. Experts on tsunami, architecture, and medicine attempt to piece together an image of the menacing, gigantic wave.