Q:

Where do tsunamis hit?

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Quick Answer

The majority of tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean in an area commonly known as the "Ring of Fire." The Ring of Fire has a high level of seismic activity that often triggers volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

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Full Answer

A tsunami is a series of powerful waves that sends surges of water as high as 100 feet onto land. Approximately 75 percent of tsunamis are caused by earthquakes under the ocean that create major changes to the ocean floor. Sometimes tsunamis are caused by landslides, volcanoes and possibly even asteroids. Tsunamis race so quickly across the sea that they can cross the entire Pacific Ocean in one day.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How tall are tsunamis?

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    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.

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  • Q:

    How are tsunamis measured?

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    Tsunamis are measured by their runup,which is the difference between an observed sea level and the distance the tsunami waters reach on shore. This is generally measured once the danger has passed, so debris and destruction of plant life are often used as gauges of runup.

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  • Q:

    What are some tsunamis that hit China?

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    As of August 2014, China has not had any significant tsunamis in over 200 years. Historical records suggest a tsunami in 1782 devastated China, killing 40,000 people. In 1765, an estimated 27-foot wave from another tsunami swept up to 10,000 people out to sea. Storm surges are more common than tsunamis in China. A storm surge occurs when a cyclone creates a single wall of water.

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  • Q:

    Where do tsunamis form?

    A:

    A tsunami begins above an undersea earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption along the ocean floor, explains Lisa Gardiner of the National Earth Science Teachers Association. In the case of an earthquake, when the movement along a fault moves the seafloor upward, water also pushes upward and becomes a tsunami wave.

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