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In the Path of Destruction!

How Big Tsunamis Get

Home | How Tsunamis Form | How Big Tsunamis Get | Speed and Destruction | Are Tsunamis Detecable | Photo Page | Before A Tsunami | During A Tsunami | After A Tsunami | Links and Bibliography | Interesting Facts | 10 Destructive Tsunamis

In the open ocean tsunamis may appear very small with a height of less than 1 meter (3 feet). Tsunamis will sometimes go undetected until they approach shallow waters along a coast. These waves have a very large wave length (up to several hundred miles) that is a function of the depth of the water where they were formed. Although these waves have a small height, there is a tremendous amount of energy associated with them. As a result of this huge amount of energy these waves can become gigantic as they approach shallow water. As they crash upon the shore there hieght depends on the underwater surface features. They can be as high as 30 m (100 feet) or more. In 1737, a huge wave estimated to be 64m (210 feet) in height hit Cape Lopatka, Kamchatka (Russia). The largest Tsunami ever recorded occurred in July of 1958 in Lituya Bay, Alaska.  A huge rock and icefall sent water surging up to a high water mark of 500m (1640 feet). It's no wonder that these waves can cause such massive destruction and loss of life.




As illustrated in the picture, you can see the largest, most destructive, and deadliest, Tsunami ever recored on December 26/04 in Thailand.

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