Tuesday, May 20, 2008


For other uses, see Tsunami (disambiguation).

The tsunami that struck Thailand on December 26, 2004.A tsunami (pronounced /tsuːˈnɑːmi/) 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, some volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, landslides, underwater earthquakes, large asteroid impacts and testing with nuclear weapons at sea all have the potential to generate a tsunami. The effects of a tsunami can be devastating due to the immense volumes of water and energy involved. Since meteorites are small, they will not generate a tsunami.

The Greek historian Thucydides was the first to relate tsunamis to submarine quakes,[1] [2] but understanding of the nature of tsunamis remained slim until the 20th century and is the subject of ongoing research.

Many early geological, geographic, oceanographic etc; texts refer to "Seismic sea waves" - these are now referred to as "tsunami."

Some meteorological storm conditions - deep depressions causing cyclones, hurricanes; can generate a storm surge which can be several metres above normal tide levels. This is due to the low atmospheric pressure within the centre of the depression. As these storm surges come ashore the surge can resemble a tsunami, inundating vast areas of land. These are not tsunami. Such a storm surge inundated Burma or, Myanmar in May 2008.

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