Tsunamis 101

Tsunamis 101

Find out how a tsunami is born ... and how it destroys.


5 - 12+


Earth Science, Geology, Oceanography, Physics

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In Japanese, tsunami means "harbor wave." Tsunamis are ocean waves triggered by an earthquake, volcano, or other movement of the ocean floor. Potentially imperceptible in deep water, a tsunami increases in height as it encounters the shallow waters of shore, often leading to extensive wreckage and loss.

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Nina Page, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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