How Tsunami is formed

A Tsunami is not just a tidal wave of larger magnitude; it is more than that. A tsunami can be described as a fast moving and endless tide that overcomes any obstacle. Tsunamis vary in magnitude and subsequently the damage they cause. Some tsunami effects go unnoticed while others cause a devastating damage to lives and property.


Factors that affect the ocean or sea bed are catalysts of tsunami. Landslides, earthquakes, large meteorite impacts and volcanic eruptions all carry the ability to generate a tsunami.

A tsunami will go unnoticed at the sea because the wave has small amplitude and a very long wavelength. In the sea a tsunami is just like a passing hump. As tsunami waves approach the dry land where the sea shallows, the waves speed is reduced. The waves begin to 'pile-up'. At the coastal line, the wave-front grows steeper and heightens, and the distance between crests lessens.

A train is a series of waves in a single tsunami event. The waves of train may vary in heights.

The damage caused by tsunami waves is overwhelming. The damage is caused by the huge mass of water that comes behind the initial wave front. The height of the sea keeps rising fast and water floods powerfully into the coastal area.

Objects in the path of a tsunami are transported kilometres away from their initial location, buildings are reduced to their foundations and the bedrock is exposed due to scoured ground. Ships and boulders in the sea can be carried many kilometres inland.

One bad thing about tsunamis is that it cannot be prevented. It can neither be precisely predicted. However some warning signs can be noticed before an impending tsunami. Today many systems are being developed and others are in use to minimize the damage from tsunamis.

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