What is a tsunami and what causes it?

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A series of great sea waves generated by sudden underwater disturbances that displace a large volume of water mass from its equilibrium position is referred to as a tsunami. Tsunamis typically occur in oceans and seas but can occur in large lakes as well. Tsunami is not just one wave but the so-called "a wave train" - a series of waves that can be as long as 60 miles which may even sounds like a freight train. Tsunamis are most often triggered by massive changes to the sea floor. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, explosions, underwater nuclear tests and, more rarely, impacts of cosmic bodies, such as meteorites or asteroids, i.e. any disturbance above or below the sea floor, have the potential to generate a tsunami. This usually happens when the sea floor abruptly deforms. The water above the deformed area is displaced from its equilibrium position and may cause the sea to rise vertically as high as 100 feet (30 meters). Tectonic earthquakes are a typical kind of ... more
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