What Causes the Tsunami?
More than 70% of tsunamis are caused by earthquakes. They can also be caused by landslides or meteorite impacts. The displacement of large amounts of water from the equilibrium can cause a tsunami.
Let’s take a look at what is plate tectonics. The entire surface of the Earth consists of slabs. Each year, they move a few inches relative to each other. The phenomenon where the plates beat against each other is called a spread. In the case when they move towards each other, it is subduction. The main cause of a tsunami is subduction.
The tsunami phenomenon is most widespread in the Pacific Ocean. Along with it, there is a “fire ring”. More than 85% of earthquakes occur along with its territory. Many subduction zones have caused destructive earthquakes and tsunamis, which led to the death of many people on the Hawaiian Islands.
How Do Tsunamis Form?
The study of the tsunami and its causes became possible only after the science of seismology came to the world. All tsunamis are caused by the activity of the Earth’s interior. Earthquake force has a direct connection with wave force, which comes from it. The most dangerous and terrible tsunamis occur after an earthquake with magnitude 8 or more.
Sharp change of vertical direction of the sea and ocean section is what causes a tsunami. Researchers claim that tsunamis occur because of earthquake centers on the sea bottom.
Due to the huge amount of energy, the seafloor is cracking and the water is reaching the surface from the bottom. At the top, however, you may not even feel the threat approaching. It prepares to strike at the bottom and then, at great speed, seek to decompose onshore. Another reason for the tsunami is underwater volcanoes. A tsunami may also occur after a large amount of rockfalls into the water. The more depth of tsunami occurrence, the more destructive the wave force will be. These waves have a lot of energy and great speed. When a tsunami approaches the shore, it loses its wave shape and spills on land. This causes great destruction.
The length of a tsunami can reach up to 300 km, and the height is much less, about 3 meters. They spread at a high speed. At the moment of approach to the shore, depending on several factors, the wave height can reach over ten meters. The lower the water level at the shore, the higher the wave height will be.
After we have figured out what causes a tsunami, we want to give you some tips on how to save yourself from this phenomenon:
- Ships should avoid coastal zones and stay in the open sea.
- People should strive to be at a distance from the shore and escape in the mountains.
- If you stay at the shore, try to fix yourself to something strong.
- A tsunami is a serial phenomenon. The first wave may be followed by the second and even the third one after the second one. Therefore, if you have left the danger zone, do not hurry to return to it until you are sure that it is safe.
Unfortunately, a person cannot stop a tsunami, but we can read its signs and win the time, and sometimes it is a matter of life and death.