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Tsunamis

A Tsunami causes a series of seismic waves that are produced due to the underwater disturbance such as earthquake, volcanic eruption or landslide.  These waves travel with extreme speed and can be as high as 100 feet.  These waves start from the center of the seas and start moving in an outwards direction.  As they start approaching shore, they start building height.  The height of the waves is dependent on the ocean floor and the type of coastline.  Tsunamis can be extremely dangerous as they may seem like small waves originating from the sea but as they reach coast, they can grow into huge engulfing sea monsters.
The most destructive tsunami that was recorded in the history of the world was the one that occurred in Japan on 11 March, 2011.  The triggering cause was an earthquake of magnitude 9.0.  In United States, tsunamis are quite common along the shores of Washington, Alaska, California, Oregon and Hawaii.

Types of Tsunamis

There are three types of tsunamis:

  1. Seismic Seiches – This type of tsunami is caused due to the disparity in the vertical displacement of the ground.  When the underwater layer shifts, the equilibrium of the water shifts too as a result of this water is pushed on to the surface with pressure.
  2. Immediate Waves – These waves are the result of the immediate lateral movement of the earth’s layer.  The push and pull effect causes the violent movement of water.  The water is first pushed into the gap and then pulled in upward direction with great force.
  3. Classical Tsunamis – The waves in this type of tsunami are open sea waves that work under the influence of gravity.  A short bump is created between the contact of the waves and coastline, resulting in the form of tsunami.

 


 

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