How Does a Tsunami Occur?


1 As one plate subducts below another, pressure builds after many years, resulting in a section of the mega-thrust giving away
2 As this section gives way, it ruptures the ocean floor, resulting in a massive displacement of water, causing a tsunami
3 Tsunamis are barely felt as a ripple on the ocean surface, but as the wave reaches land, they increase in size as the water becomes shallower

1 Slow distortion; Pressure builds
2 Rupture displaces water
Plate’s forward pressure causes it to be pushed below another

Water crest grows as it reaches land due to shallowing water
Wave in ocean

Tectonic plates around Japan
200 km
North American Plate
Quake epicenter
Eurasian Plate
Pacific Plate
Philippine Plate
Fault lines

1 North American plate
Pacific Ocean Pacific plate
2 Deformation causing stress
Direction of force
3 High stress
4 Earthquake occurs as plate snaps back Tsunami

1 High stress zone at plate boundary
2 No surface deformation means no tsunami

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How Does a Tsunami Occur?

shared by maggie on Apr 01, 2011 in Other

How Does a Tsunami Occur?

shared by maggie on Apr 01, 2011 in Other


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Tsunamis are very dangerous and cause massive destruction. Unfortunately, the world has been hit with two massive tsunamis in the last decade - in Japan and Thailand - and the aftermath has been heart...
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