Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Earthquake and the Steller's Sea Eagle

Although our payers go out to the people of Japan who face the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami, I was looking anxiously at the data  coming in from the adult eagle (the last we have on the air). The latest batch of the data came when the internet was flooded with scary images of the megaflood and huge amounts of damage to the east coast of Japan. The plot of the latest Doppler coordinates  show that at the eagle flew from the Furuno city area, Hokkaido, straight north-west, to the western coast of the island. The bird has never visited this coast before during the monitoring period, and so it seems a bit strange, since movements in this year have only taken it to areas that it has visited before (last year). Whether it was traveling before or immediately after the earthquake is not known at the moment, but is it evident that the bird has moved from an area that suffered a magnitude 4 tremor to an area where the magnitude was only 2. The picture shows the land tremor (red dots = 6, violet =7, epicenter marked with red cross) as was issued by the Japan Meteorological Office and location of underwater tremors from USGS real-time earthquakes. The bird's track is shown in white moving from the center of Hokkaido to the west coast of the Island. Note that the bird was flying away from from the epicenter (thick white line shows the direction to the epicenter on both pictures).

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