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Encyclopedia > Tsunami
The tsunami that struck Thailand on December 26, 2004.
The tsunami that struck Thailand on December 26, 2004.

A tsunami (IPA: /(t)sʊˈnɑːmi/) is a series of waves created when a body of water, such as an ocean, is rapidly displaced. Earthquakes, mass movements above or below water, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, landslides, large meteoroid or asteroid impacts and testing with nuclear weapons at sea all have the potential to generate a tsunami. The effects of a tsunami can range from unnoticeable to devastating. The Latin derivative of the word for the smaller waves experienced across the Italian coast was Fillius Sum Sunamus which means, son of tsunamis, inspired by the Japanese word similar to "tsunami" after relations with the shogun of Japan. The term tsunami comes from the Japanese words (津波、つなみ) meaning harbor ("tsu", ) and wave ("nami", ). [a. Jap. tsunami, tunami, f. tsu harbour + nami waves. - Oxford English Dictionary]. For the plural, one can either follow ordinary English practice and add an s, or use an invariable plural as in Japanese. The term was created by fishermen who returned to port to find the area surrounding their harbor devastated, although they had not been aware of any wave in the open water. Tsunamis are common throughout Japanese history; approximately 195 events in Japan have been recorded. Look up tsunami in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1114, 916 KB) A picture of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1114, 916 KB) A picture of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... IPA may refer to: The International Phonetic Alphabet or India Pale Ale ... For the TV movie also known as The Ocean Waves, see I Can Hear the Sea. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... This article is about the natural seismic phenomenon. ... Mass wasting, also known as mass movement, is the process by which rock and regolith move downslope mainly due to the pull of gravity. ... This article is about volcanoes in geology. ... An underwater explosion, also known as an UNDEX, is an explosion beneath the surface of water. ... This entry refers to the geological term landslide. ... Artists impression of a major impact event. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. ... Not to be confused with the Javanese language. ... For other uses, see Harbor (disambiguation). ... For the TV movie also known as The Ocean Waves, see I Can Hear the Sea. ... For other uses, see Harbor (disambiguation). ... For the TV movie also known as The Ocean Waves, see I Can Hear the Sea. ... Open Water is a 2003 film inspired by a true story about an American couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who in 1998 went out with a scuba diving group, Outer Edge Dive Company, into the South Pacific. ... History of Japan Paleolithic Jomon Yayoi Yamato period ---Kofun period ---Asuka period Nara period Heian period Kamakura period Muromachi period Azuchi-Momoyama period ---Nanban period Edo period Meiji period Taisho period Showa period ---Japanese expansionism ---Occupied Japan ---Post-Occupation Japan Heisei Pre-History/The Origin of History Jomon Period Main...


A tsunami has a much smaller amplitude (wave height) offshore, and a very long wavelength (often hundreds of kilometers long), which is why they generally pass unnoticed at sea, forming only a passing "hump" in the ocean. Tsunamis have been historically referred to tidal waves because as they approach land, they take on the characteristics of a violent onrushing tide rather than the sort of cresting waves that are formed by wind action upon the ocean (with which people are more familiar). Since they are not actually related to tides the term is considered misleading and its usage is discouraged by oceanographers. [1] It has been suggested that pulse amplitude be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Wavelength (disambiguation). ... tidal wave is the crest of a tide as it moves around the Earth. ... This article is about tides in the Earths oceans. ... Oceanography (from Ocean + Greek γράφειν = write), also called oceanology and marine science is the study of the earths oceans and their interlinked ecosystems and chemical and physical processes. ...

Contents

Causes

A tsunami can be generated when the plate boundaries abruptly deform and vertically displace the overlying water. Such large vertical movements of the Earth’s crust can occur at plate boundaries. Subduction earthquakes are particularly effective in generating tsunami. Also, one tsunami in the 1940's in Hilo, Hawaii, was actually caused by an earthquake on one of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. That earthquake was 7.8 on the Richter Scale. The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... Geometry of a subduction zone - insets to show accretionary prism and partial melting of hydrated asthenosphere. ... The Richter magnitude test scale (or more correctly local magnitude ML scale) assigns a single number to quantify the size of an earthquake. ...


Tsunami take place when a huge earthquake occurs causing the plates below the water to push up causing the water to create a huge wave.


In the 1950s it was discovered that larger tsunami than previously believed possible could be caused by landslides, explosive volcanic action, and impact events when they contact water. These phenomena rapidly displace large volumes of water, as energy from falling debris or expansion is transferred to the water into which the debris falls. Tsunami caused by these mechanisms, unlike the ocean-wide tsunami caused by some earthquakes, generally dissipate quickly and rarely affect coastlines distant from the source due to the small area of sea affected. These events can give rise to much larger local shock waves (solitons), such as the landslide at the head of Lituya Bay which produced a water wave estimated at 50 – 150 m and reached 524 m up local mountains. However, an extremely large landslide could generate a “megatsunami” that might have ocean-wide impacts. This entry refers to the geological term landslide. ... Artists impression of a major impact event. ... Introduction The shock wave is one of several different ways in which a gas in a supersonic flow can be compressed. ... A soliton is a self-reinforcing solitary wave caused by nonlinear effects in the medium. ... Lituya Bay is a fjord located at in the U.S. state of Alaska. ... Megatsunami (often hyphenated as mega-tsunami, also known as iminami or wave of purification) is an informal term used mostly by popular media and popular scientific societies to describe a very large tsunami wave beyond the typical size reached by most tsunamis. ...


The geological record tells us that there have been massive tsunami in Earth's past.


Signs of an approaching tsunami

The monument to the victims of tsunami at Laupahoehoe, Hawaii.
The monument to the victims of tsunami at Laupahoehoe, Hawaii.

There is often no advance warning of an approaching tsunami. However, since earthquakes are often a cause of tsunami, an earthquake felt near a body of water may be considered an indication that a tsunami will shortly follow. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 4. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 4. ... The Island of Hawaii (called the Big Island or Hawaii Island) is a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean and one of the eight main islands that comprise the U.S. state of Hawaii. ...


When the first part of a tsunami to reach land is a trough rather than a crest of the wave, the water along the shoreline may recede dramatically, exposing areas that are normally always submerged. This can serve as an advance warning of the approaching crest of the tsunami, although the warning arrives only a very short time before the crest, which typically arrives seconds to minutes later. [2] In the 2004 tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean the sea receding was not reported on the African coast or any other western coasts it hit, when the tsunami approached from the east.


Tsunamis occur most frequently in the Pacific Ocean, but are a global phenomenon; they are possible wherever large bodies of water are found, including inland lakes, where they can be caused by landslides. Very small tsunamis, non-destructive and undetectable without specialized equipment, occur frequently as a result of minor earthquakes and other events.


Warnings and prevention

Tsunami wall at Tsu, Japan
Tsunami wall at Tsu, Japan

A tsunami cannot be prevented or precisely predicted, but there are some warning signs of an impending tsunami, and there are many systems being developed and in use to reduce the damage from tsunami. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... The Wedge The Wedge is a world-famous bodysurfing spot located at the extreme south end of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California. ... The Balboa Peninsula is the part of Newport Beach, California people from outside the area probably think about most often when they see the words Newport Beach. ... Download high resolution version (768x1024, 133 KB)Tsunami wall at Tsu-shi, Japan File links The following pages link to this file: Tsunami Image:Tsunami wall. ... Download high resolution version (768x1024, 133 KB)Tsunami wall at Tsu-shi, Japan File links The following pages link to this file: Tsunami Image:Tsunami wall. ... Tsu (津市; -shi) is the capital of Mie Prefecture, Japan. ...


In instances where the leading edge of the tsunami wave is its trough, the sea will recede from the coast half of the wave's period before the wave's arrival. If the slope of the coastal seabed is shallow, this recession can exceed many hundreds of meters. People unaware of the danger may remain at the shore due to curiosity, or for collecting fish from the exposed seabed.

Tsunami warning sign on seawall in Kamakura, Japan, 2004. In the Muromachi period, a tsunami struck Kamakura, destroying the wooden building that housed the colossal statue of Amida Buddha at Kotokuin. Since that time, the statue has been outdoors.
Tsunami warning sign on seawall in Kamakura, Japan, 2004. In the Muromachi period, a tsunami struck Kamakura, destroying the wooden building that housed the colossal statue of Amida Buddha at Kotokuin. Since that time, the statue has been outdoors.

Regions with a high risk of tsunami may use tsunami warning systems to detect tsunami and warn the general population before the wave reaches land. In some communities on the west coast of the United States, which is prone to Pacific Ocean tsunami, warning signs advise people where to run in the event of an incoming tsunami. Computer models can roughly predict tsunami arrival and impact based on information about the event that triggered it and the shape of the seafloor (bathymetry) and coastal land (topography). [3] Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 1105 KB)Tsunami warning sign on seawall in Kamakura, Japan. ... Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 1105 KB)Tsunami warning sign on seawall in Kamakura, Japan. ... A seawall is a form of hard coastal defence constructed on the inland part of a coast to reduce the effects of strong waves and are built in the water. ... Kamakuras location in Japan Crowds of visitors in Kamakura (Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine) Great Buddha at Kōtoku-in Kamakura (Japanese: 鎌倉市; -shi) is a city located in Kanagawa, Japan, about 50 km south-south-west of Tokyo (to which it is linked by the railway line to Yokosuka). ... The Muromachi period (Japanese: 室町時代, Muromachi-jidai, also known as the Muromachi era, the Muromachi bakufu, the Ashikaga era, the Ashikaga period, or the Ashikaga bakufu) is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. ... Amitabha Buddha pictured in the Ushiku Daibutsu in Japan Amitābha (Sanskrit: अमिताभः, Amitābhaḥ; Chinese: 阿彌陀佛, Ä’mítuó Fó; Japanese: 阿弥陀如来, Amida Nyorai; Vietnamese: 阿彌陀佛, A Di Ðà Phật; Tibetan: འོད་དཔག་མེད་; Lhasa dialect IPA: [; Mongolian: CaÉ£lasi ügei gerel-tü) is a celestial buddha described in the scriptures of the Mahāyāna school... Media:Example. ... Amida Buddha, Kotokuin Kotokuin (高徳院) is a Buddhist temple of the Pure Land sect in the city of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. ... It has been suggested that Low coasts mitigation be merged into this article or section. ... A computer simulation or a computer model is a computer program which attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. ... Bathymetry is the underwater equivalent to topography. ... For discussion of land surfaces themselves, see Terrain. ...


One of the early warnings comes from nearby animals. Many animals sense danger and flee to higher ground before the water arrives. The Lisbon quake is the first documented case of such a phenomenon in Europe. The phenomenon was also noted in Sri Lanka in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. [4] Some scientists speculate that animals may have an ability to sense subsonic Rayleigh waves from an earthquake minutes or hours before a tsunami strikes shore (Kenneally, [5]). More likely, though, is that the certain large animals (e.g., elephants) heard the sounds of the tsunami as it approached the coast. The elephants reactions were to go in the direction opposite of the noise, and thus go inland. Humans, on the other hand, head down to the shore to investigate. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake,[1] was a great undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004 with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. ... Rayleigh waves are a type of surface wave associated on the Earth with earthquakes and subterranean movement of magma. ...


While it is not possible to prevent a tsunami, in some particularly tsunami-prone countries some measures have been taken to reduce the damage caused on shore. Japan has implemented an extensive programme of building tsunami walls of up to 4.5 m (13.5 ft) high in front of populated coastal areas. Other localities have built floodgates and channels to redirect the water from incoming tsunami. However, their effectiveness has been questioned, as tsunami are often higher than the barriers. For instance, the tsunami which struck the island of Hokkaidō on July 12, 1993 created waves as much as 30 m (100 ft) tall - as high as a 10-story building. The port town of Aonae was completely surrounded by a tsunami wall, but the waves washed right over the wall and destroyed all the wood-framed structures in the area. The wall may have succeeded in slowing down and moderating the height of the tsunami, but it did not prevent major destruction and loss of life.   literally North Sea Circuit, Ainu: Mosir), formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japans second largest island and the largest of its 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. ... is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ...


The effects of a tsunami can be mitigated by natural factors such as tree cover on the shoreline. Some locations in the path of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami escaped almost unscathed as a result of the tsunami’s energy being sapped by a belt of trees such as coconut palms and mangroves. In one striking example, the village of Naluvedapathy in India's Tamil Nadu region suffered minimal damage and few deaths as the wave broke up on a forest of 80,244 trees planted along the shoreline in 2002 in a bid to enter the Guinness Book of Records. [6] Environmentalists have suggested tree planting along stretches of seacoast which are prone to tsunami risks. While it would take some years for the trees to grow to a useful size, such plantations could offer a much cheaper and longer-lasting means of tsunami mitigation than the costly and environmentally destructive method of erecting artificial barriers. Binomial name Cocos nucifera L.. The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera L.), is a member of the Family Arecaceae (palm family). ... Above and below water view at the edge of the mangal. ... Naluvedapathy is a coastal village in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. ... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... Suresh Joachim, minutes away from breaking the ironing world record at 55 hours and 5 minutes, at Shoppers World, Brampton. ...


Tsunami in History

Main Article: Historic tsunami
Historically speaking, tsunami are not rare, with at least 25 tsunami occurring in the last century. Of these, many were recorded in the Asia-Pacific region - particularly Japan. The Boxing Day Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004, caused approx. 300,000 deaths and many more injuries. The destruction of the Egyptian city of Alexandria in A.D.365 is now presumed to have been caused by a tsunami. // Tsunami occur most frequently in the Pacific Ocean, but are a global phenomenon; they are possible wherever large bodies of water are found, including inland lakes, where they can be caused by landslides. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... For other meanings of Pacific, see Pacific (disambiguation). ... The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake,[1] was a great undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004 with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. ... Boxing Day is a public holiday observed in many Commonwealth countries on 26 December. ... This article is about the city in Egypt. ...


See also

The Higher Ground Project was a worldwide campaign to celebrate the lives of children who survived the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami. ... The following is a list of major earthquakes. ... A Meteotsunami is a tsunami-like phenomenon of meterological origin. ... Megatsunami (often hyphenated as mega-tsunami, also known as iminami or wave of purification) is an informal term used mostly by popular media and popular scientific societies to describe a very large tsunami wave beyond the typical size reached by most tsunamis. ... The Draupner wave, a single giant wave measured on New Years Day 1995, finally confirmed the existence of freak waves, which had previously been considered near-mythical Rogue waves, also known as freak waves, or extreme waves, are relatively large and spontaneous ocean surface waves which are a threat... Sneaker wave is a term used to describe disproportionately large coastal waves that can often appear in a wave train without warning. ... The tidal bore in Upper Cook Inlet, Alaska A tidal bore (or just bore, or eagre) is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travel up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the current. ... The Tsunami Society is a research organization that studies tsunamis and seeks to supply information about them to the public. ... For man-made disasters see: List of wars and disasters by death toll A death toll is the number of dead as a result of war, violence, accident, natural disaster, extreme weather, or disease. ... This article is about the natural seismic phenomenon. ... It has been suggested that Low coasts mitigation be merged into this article or section. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A supervolcano is a volcano that produces the largest and most voluminous kinds of eruption on Earth. ... For other uses, see Disaster (disambiguation). ... The Minoan civilization was a bronze age civilization which arose on Crete, an island in the Aegean Sea. ...

References

  • Iwan, W.D., editor, 2006, Summary report of the Great Sumatra Earthquakes and Indian Ocean tsunamis of 26 December 2004 and 28 March 2005: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, EERI Publication #2006-06, 11 chapters, 100 page summary, plus CD-ROM with complete text and supplementary photographs, EERI Report 2006-06. [www.eeri.org] ISBN 1-932884-19-X
  • Dudley, Walter C. & Lee, Min (1988: 1st edition) Tsunami! ISBN 0-8248-1125-9 link
  • Kenneally, Christine (December 30 2004). "Surviving the Tsunami". Slate. link
  • Macey, Richard (January 1 2005). "The Big Bang that Triggered A Tragedy", The Sydney Morning Herald, p 11 - quoting Dr Mark Leonard, seismologist at Geoscience Australia.
  • Lambourne, Helen (March 27 2005). "Tsunami: Anatomy of a disaster". BBC News. link
  • abelard.org. tsunamis: tsunamis travel fast but not at infinite speed. Website, retrieved March 29 2005. link
  • The NOAA's page on the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... is the 86th day of the year (87th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC News is the department within the BBC responsible for the corporations news-gathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

Articles and websites

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, nonprofit research and higher education facility dedicated to the study of all aspects of marine science and engineering and to the education of marine researchers. ...

Images and video

See also: Images and video, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake,[1] was a great undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004 with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. ...

is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... IN or in may stand for: India ISO country code Indiana state code Indium In symbol for the chemical element Intelligent network a telecommunications architecture Car designation for Ingolstadt Inch In Nomine Look up IN in Wiktionary, the free dictionary This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists... The Singapore Armed Forces (abbreviation: SAF, Malay: Angkatan Bersenjata Singapura, Simplified Chinese: ) comprises three branches: the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). ...

Fiction

Michael Crichton, pronounced [1], (born October 23, 1942) is an American author, film producer, film director, and television producer. ... State of Fear is a 2004 novel by Michael Crichton published by HarperCollins on December 7, 2004. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Tsunami (1568 words)
Tsunami are also known as tidal waves, although they have nothing to do with the tide, and are sometimes called seismic sea waves.
Mega Tsunami: Wave of Destruction is the script of a BBC TV Horizon program on the famous tsunami that hit Lituya Bay, and the possibility that the east coast of america could be hit by something similar.
Tsunami from Asteroid Impacts is a large document reporting on a scientific study of what might happen if an asteroid hits the sea.
Tsunami- EnchantedLearning.com (846 words)
Tsunamis are caused by an underwater earthquake, a volcanic eruption, an sub-marine rockslide, or, more rarely, by an asteroid or meteoroid crashing into in the water from space.
Many tsunamis could be detected before they hit land, and the loss of life could be minimized, with the use of modern technology, including seismographs (which detect earthquakes), computerized offshore buoys that can measure changes in wave height, and a system of sirens on the beach to alert people of potential tsunami danger.
As a tsunami wave approaches the coast (where the sea becomes shallow), the trough (bottom) of a wave hits the beach floor, causing the wave to slow down, to increase in height (the amplitude is magnified many times) and to decrease in wavelength (the distance from crest to crest).
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