What do you study?

I am looking for signs of tsunamis along coastlines.

Tsunamis are large and powerful ocean waves. They grow in size as they reach the shore. They are often caused by earthquakes. They can flood cities. Goodman studied signs of an ancient tsunami in Israel.

underwater ruins in Israel

Goodman collects sediments in a bag.

What were you looking for?

We needed to find clues that tsunamis happened here in the past. We didn’t have proof on land. One problem is that a coastline has a lot of sand, shells, and gravel. A tsunami deposit has the same things! When you look at the layers, it is hard to be sure if they came from a tsunami. We used a water dredge. It’s like a vacuum cleaner.

What did you find?

We found materials that came from the deep sea. We also found materials from the shallow sea and beach. We even found materials that came from land. There’s only one thing that could have caused these things to be mixed together. We had clear proof of a tsunami!

The team then linked this mix of materials with what they knew about the past.

We researched the past. We looked for written accounts of big waves. We found some. They came from the same time as the mixture of materials. This discovery was important. It proved that the written records were describing actual tsunamis.

Goodman shows students what the inside of a core sample looks like.

Goodman takes a sand sample.

What are three qualities an explorer needs?

An explorer needs to be curious. They can’t get discouraged. They should always try to be open-minded. If you are not open-minded, you might not see new things that are right in front of you. You might get too focused on what you already know. Or, on what you expect to see!