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.
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.Learn More
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.Full Answer >
Tsunamis happen when earthquakes, landslides or volcanic eruptions disturb the ocean floor. Most tsunamis occur when there are earthquakes at tectonic plate boundaries. When the ocean floor at the boundary rises or falls, it moves the water above and creates the huge waves that become tsunamis.Full Answer >
While an immediate effect of a tsunami is the destruction of life and property, tsunamis also create a health crisis. Not only do tsunamis wipe out buildings and carry many of the things in their path away, they leave behind a crippled infrastructure that makes it extremely difficult to provide basic services to the people who survived.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >