Captured by an underwater microphone called a hydrophone positioned 900 miles away from the epicentre in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska the earthquake’s incredible rumbling and roaring is not dissimilar to the sound of a rocket taking off.
The clip, available on You Tube, is sped up 16 times and in the second half the sound becomes almost blurred and muffled as the Earth’s crust readjusts hundreds of miles under the ocean.
The initial burst of noise is the P-wave, which stands for ‘primary’ waves and the second louder noise is the sound of the T-wave, or tertiary waves. Tertiary waves are created when an earthquake occurs under the sea. They are the slowest waves of the three types of waves and are created when their seismic energy goes upwards into the ocean. As this happens it converts to sound energy making the T-wave.
The clip comes as the Japanese are trying to get their nation back on track. The now infamous Fukushima plant has been spewing radioactive substances for more than a month after the 14 metre tsunami devastated its cooling towers and wrecked emergency back-up systems. Thousands of families were evacuated from the nuclear disaster zone and are now set to receive compensation pay-outs from the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco).