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In the Path of Destruction!

How Tsunamis Form

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Tsunamis are formed as a result of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or landslides that occur under the sea. When these events occur under the water, huge amounts of energy are released as a result of quick upward bottom movement. For example, if a volcanic eruption occurs, the ocean floor may very quickly move upward several hundred feet. When this happens, huge volumes of ocean water are pushed upward and a wave is formed. A large earthquake can lift thousands of square kilometres of sea floor, which will cause the formation of huge waves. The Pacific Ocean is especially prone to tsunamis as a result of the large amount of undersea geological activity.


As illustrated in the picture the oceans plates are rapidly moving together due to seismic activity. Therefore causing one plate to rapidly rise vertically creating a Tsunami.

By: Robbie & Colin                 SNC 2D1 2005-06 GR.10