Wikipedia talk:Featured article review/2004 Indian Ocean earthquake/archive1
Here's the original issues at the RFA. Some may be resolved (as indicated by crossing out) and others may be irrelevant. Still...
- The last sentence of the lead seems out of place and should be incorporated into something.
- "Unfamiliarity with warning signs" and "Signs and warnings" should be retitled, as those are not characteristics of a tsunami (those sections do go into characteristics of a tsunami, but spend a lot of time on other stuff, and the section titles are still bad)
- Only the first two paragraphs under "Quake characteristics" appear to be about characteristics of the earthquake.
"Quake" strikes me as an informal term too -- should it be changed to "Earthquake"?
- While I can pretty much understand what "The earthquake was unusually large in geographical extent" means, it doesn't seem like a useful sentence. It looks like an early attempt at a topic sentence that should have been edited into something more useful. (I disagree, this is a just plain ugly sentence)
Overall, it does need some editing (several runons, e.g. "However, the northern rupture...", "The only other recorded earthquake") The link to volcanic arc ought to be incorporated into the prose somewhere. I'm not an expert on the subject, but the paragraph beginning "The India Plate is part of the great" seems out of place. The paragraph after it begins by referring to "the sideways movement between the plates", which I think means the "strike-slip" the paragraph before "The India Plate". If you start off the one paragraph referring to the sideways movement like that, it should be clearer what that is referring to (by putting the paragraphs together, and preferably describing "strike-slip" as "sideways movement", assuming I am correct in my interpretation; if I'm wrong, it should be clearer what "sideways movement" refers to). Define or link "triggered earthquake" Not clear what "a 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurred on February 19, 2005 off Sulawesi at the other end of the Indonesian island chain" has to do with anything.
- "Coincidentally, the earthquake struck almost" should either be removed or justified. It's a coincidence, but not too terribly unlikely, I think -- unless someone's made a big deal out of it, who cares? If someone has made a big deal out of it, explain why. (I'm afraid I just don't find your response sufficient; if this is relevant, explain why)
There's a paragraph on aftershocks, then a paragraph on other stuff, then one beginning "As well as continuing aftershocks", which seems out of place. This paragraph should be expanded too, or folded into some other spot. "Coincidentally, Mount Talang has since erupted and is now on top alert" looks like an even more irrelevant coincidence. The paragraph beginning "More spectacularly, there was 10 m" needs to be sourced, as it is weasel-wordy. "There were also calculations" is particularly egregious (did the calculations just appear out of thin air?)(Still not great, but much improved) "An oceanic trench several kilometres wide was also found in the earthquake zone" -- not clear whether the quake created the trench or made it able to be discovered " (Earthquakes and tsunamis, Lorca et al.)." should be made into a footnote like the other sources
- "The tsunami, like all others, behaved very differently in deep water than in shallow water" seems like an unuseful sentence (It's unuseful because the first six words can be replaced with two ("Tsunamis behave") without losing any meaning. It doesn't show that tsunamis are "dynamic", it implies that they behave the same every time -- differently in deep than shallow water, but apparently the same differences, thus not dynamic except in the sense that a tsunami is inherently chaotic, which is not related to deep/shallow water)
Paragraphs need to each have a clear topic. Take the "Tsunami characteristics" section. The first par. is about how the tsunami is formed and affected distant regions, which is fine. The second par. starts off talking about the speed in deep water, then veers to the height in shallow water; the next par. goes back to height and deep water, then to satellites not providing a warning. The next par. is fine. Then "Because the 1,200 km" starts off about the difference in effects btwn north-south and east-west, then there's a blurb about the northern area being less affected than the south (which is already covered elsewhere); the next par. eventually returns to Bangladesh some more, but only after spending some time on waves going around coasts before coming back to distance (the reason the distance isn't necessarily too important is because the waves can go around coasts, and the reason Bangladesh wasn't as badly affected was because it was the northern rupture zone -- these are all related topics, but these paragraphs jump about without explaining the connections). The next par. is about time, which is fine. The par. after that could be folded into it. The last par, is fine too, though the last sentence is too weaselly (I know it's cited, it's just an ugly sentence). "Measured in lives lost, this is one of the ten worst earthquakes in recorded history, as well as the single worst tsunami in history." should be expanded or incorporated elsewhere. It could make a topic sentence for that section. Seems to be some overlinking, especially of placenames.
- Need citation for "An article in The Wall Street Journal on December 31, 2004" -- and that sounds like a weak source anyway. Unless they consulted someone else, the Journal can't be considered a reliable source for the effects of mankind on Indian Ocean coral reefs, nor the effects of those reefs on the tsunami. I don't doubt that it's true, but the Journal doesn't seem like a good source for it. (well, now it's just been moved to a footnote, which doesn't help -- my point is not that there's anything wrong with the Journal (or any newspaper) used as a source, merely that it is not sufficient for this point. Does Andrew Browne, presumably a reporter educated in journalism, or the English language and related fields, have enough expertise to come to this conclusion?
The next par., about the mangrove thing, should be expanded or incorporated elsewhere, and needs to be cited (or does that come from the Journal too? If so, same problem applies).(stricken for simplicity, but the same problem applies as in the above issue)
- Lots of passive voice everywhere ("humanitarian aid was needed", "effort was spent", "risks may have been", "It has been reported", "is considered to be") and lots of sentences beginning with "there is"/"there are", which is a weak opening.
- I know no one likes lists in FA, but the worst way to solve that is to turn a list into prose (e.g. "Nations all over the world provided..." -- I don't see why that can't be a sidebar list or something). (I'd not want a wholly separate list giving all the amounts given by any government. My point is that what's there is basically a list (of the top seven, I guess), put in sentence form, which makes it more difficult to read. I think a little box off to the side there that just lists the top seven donor nations would be fine and far easier to read. Look at how repetitive it is -- it's obvious from the beginning we're talking about governments offering money, measured here in US dollars -- the only informative thing is which governments and how much, which a list can do nicely (there is the bit about Australia earmarking most of it for Indonesia, but that seems overly specific here, especially since there's a subarticle just on the humanitarian response).
Define or link "artisanal fishery"
- "But some economists believe that damage" and "According to specialists, the main effect" are both uncited weasel words.
"establish a Task Force with this aim" -- not clear what the aim is
- "Traditional beliefs in many of the affected regions state that a relative of the family must bury the body of the dead. Some psychologists interpret this as evidence of psychological trauma." Which psychologists feel these traditional beliefs are evidence of psychological trauma? How can beliefs that presumably predated the tsunami be caused by the psychological trauma from the tsunami? (The plain meaning of this sentence is, I think, that psychologists believe the traditional beliefs are evidence of psychological trauma. if there are significant people who claim that the belief will lead to greater psychological trauma than in people who don't share in that belief, then explain that, and who believes it.
- "Some believe that the tsunami was punishment for lay Muslims shirking their daily prayers and/or following a materialistic lifestyle. Others have said that Allah was angry that there were Muslims killing other Muslims in an ongoing conflict." -- for an organized religion with leaders and scriptures and stuff, there needs to be more on this. This is not really a sufficient source for all that, I think, and it isn't clear why only the Muslim stuff from that article is included here. I know Muslims were more affected than Jews, but in order to be comprehensive, we ought to be covering why Jews think it occurred too. A number of things are mentioned in that article about why people think it occurred, but aren't in our article -- why?
- There's at least one citation that's a bare external link (in the lead), which should be converted to the same style as the others.
- External links seem a bit bloated. Are they each so uniquely useful to this article? (Still seem bloated. What is the relevance of the seismic record in Hungary, for example?)
- There is confusion between 9.0 and 9.3. The lead appears to say that 9.3 is the accepted number, while the comparison in "Characteristics" is to 9.0.
- The historical context paragraphs in "Characteristics" probably deserve their own section at the end rather than being part of the section lead.
The US government conspiracy paragraph: the external link is from 1999 and thus cannot support the assertion made. I would recommend removal.
- It is unclear in the discussion in the plates that the Burma plate is part of the Australasian plate. (I believe that's right)
- One thing that has always bothered me about "the sea bed rose" info is if only the sea bed of one plate rose, given that we are talking about subduction.
- The article states reverberations were "providing valuable scientific data about the Earth's interior". Such as?
- In the sentence referring to the Bam earthquake, which of the two earthquakes discussed is being referred to in "the earthquake struck".
- Is there causation being argued for the 10 April 2006 earthquake, or is it unnecessary trivia?
- In the last paragraph in that section about volcanoes being caused to erupt there is some weaseling, e.g. "some scientists confirm" and "Geologists say". Is there actually some doubt about causation or is it just wordiness?
- Two different figures are given for energy release in exajoules and both cannot be correct. Please remove the incorrect information.
- I know that many of the figures about land mass movement and global effects came from theoretical models, before anyone could get on the ground and measure things. Those measurements should now have been completed and published somewhere. I doubt that the movement was as extreme as some of the early guesstimates that this article uses.
- The casualty figures desperately need to be solidified, at least to a commonly held estimate. We have a chart itemizing casualties by country, which is undercut by the sentence in the section above stating that the updated figure is 100K less. Either the table is an unworkable idea or the "updated figure" is wrong.
- There has been significant convergence: the chart says 230,507 while the section above reports 229,886 without citation. However, the lack of a single number is still confusing.
- In general, this article has not been subject to the confident and knowledgeable organization and parsing that I feel would make it great. Most of the content lies where it was placed and, now that some time has passed, I would suggest an editor go at it with the proverbial chainsaw and arc welder. I'm glad to see that the external links have been cut down dramatically.
- I realize external links are things which are not cited. I question why you have such a set of external links under news stories that would seem to me to be good source for the article. If they were not good enough to be a source, why should we link to them at all? Also the link marked "actual footage of disaster" seems to be bad.