Amazing Image: Coloring the Height of the Tsunami Waves

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NOAA

Waves spawned by the earthquake that hit Japan on Friday were literally off the charts — reaching up to 12 feet in some locations, according to reports.

This graphic (above) was released Friday by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing the projected size of the waves that moved halfway around the world on Friday.

(More on TIME.com: See pictures from the devastation in Japan.)

Near the earthquake epicenter, waves heights were were at their highest —  this chart maxes out at 240 inches or approximately 8 feet, although the swells in Japan were said to be even higher — and tapered as they traveled across the Pacific and reached South America nearly 24 hours later.

NOAA monitors wave heights by using buoys that are strategically placed across the Pacific rim. The NOAA Tsunami Research Center also released a video showing the path of the wave as it sped across the water. You can view that video here. (via Scientific American)

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 deadliest earthquakes.)

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