What is a Tsunami?
The word Tsunami comes from the Japanese 'tsu'
meaning harbor and 'nami' meaning wave. Tsunamis
waves caused by the rapid displacement of an oceanic water column on a
scale. These giant waves are usually triggered by earthquakes,
eruptions, mass movements, and sometimes meteorite impacts.
Tsunamis generated in deep water, travel
with a small amplitude and very long wavelengths in the deep open
very little energy as they 'ripple' out from a source. The reason
for the minimal loss of energy is the lack of contact with the ocean
floor. Figure 1.2 shows how normal coastal waves travel with a
circular motion, due to the increase in wavelength of open ocean
tsunami waves there is no rotational motion or contact with the
travel at speeds upwards of 700 km/hr in the
Particle motion open ocean waves (http://scubageek.com/articles/wwwparticle.html)
Why Study Tsunamis?
are vital for study in the current day and age,
as the devastation they reap can cause hundreds of thousands of deaths
single waves. The largest concern about tsunamis is that they are
unpredictable. The reason for the unpredictability of Tsunamis is
the causes of them are just as unpredictable. Earthquakes, mass
and volcanic eruptions are all unpredictable events with serious
consequences. Since the massive devastation that took
2004 when over 200,000 people died on the
D.A.R.T Buoy system. Method of tsunami warning (http://tatnews.org/tourism_news/images/tsunami_early/b-dart.jpg)
To see an animation on how the D.A.R.T. Buoy system is used click here (Animation courtesy of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration))
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