Tsunamis are massive waves that form when an ocean is disturbed by an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption or other disruptive event. Underwater earthquakes, which occur at the boundaries of tectonic plates, are one of the most common causes of tsunamis. When one plate moves up or down, it displaces water, and it is this displaced water that becomes the tsunami wave.Know More
Tsunamis also form as a result of undersea landslides. The formation process is similar. Displaced water seeks a stable position, and in doing so, creates a tsunami. In rare cases, tsunamis occur when meteors strike the ocean and displace a large amount of water.
Not all earthquakes or landslides result in tsunami waves. Only those that occur with enough violence to displace a large amount of water very quickly have this devastating effect. Tsunamis are not single waves. Instead, they are a series of large waves in quick succession. These waves may not appear large on the open ocean, but as they approach shallow water, they become higher in comparison to the normal water level. Often, they reach distances of a mile or more offshore, causing destruction in their paths. Because of the large amount of water brought on shore, it takes many hours or days for the water levels to recede after a tsunami.Learn more about Tsunamis
Over 150,000 people died as a result of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, which is the deadliest tsunami as of January 2015. Out of the 150,000 people who perished during the tsunami, it is believed that up to 50,000 were children. Those who were not killed by being slammed into structures or being crushed by debris were likely swept out to sea when the ocean withdrew.Full Answer >
Earthquakes happen when the boundaries of the Earth's tectonic plates bump and slide past one another; sometimes, they get stuck on jagged edges and cause earthquakes once they are released. These earthquakes are always followed by aftershocks starting from the same epicenter.Full Answer >
The height of a tsunami is determined by the depth of water at the point where it starts. Tsunami wave heights of up to 50 feet have been recorded, according to Wikipedia.Full Answer >
National Geographic magazine has many images of the wreckage caused by tsunamis around the world. Its tsunami photo gallery includes photographs of the disasters in Sri Lanka, Chile and the Indian Ocean.Full Answer >