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Tsunami Definition

A tsunami is a series of huge waves from an ocean floor earthquake. For example, these waves cause damage when reaching coastal areas.

View Lesson on Predicting Natural Disasters
Grades 6-8 VideoPredicting Natural Disasters player orange
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Predicting Natural Disasters

Fun Facts

  • Tsunamis can occur all over the world and reach speeds of up to 500 miles per hour.
  • When an earthquake occurs on the ocean floor, massive wave systems rush in various directions from the earthquake.
  • Seismologists use data from past earthquakes to predict future events, but have not yet figured out how to determine when and where an earthquake will occur.

Why Do We Need To Know About Tsunami

Learning about tsunamis helps us see how scientists and engineers work together to make them less harmful. Engineers build strong structures and create systems to warn us before a tsunami hits. Scientists, like those who study earthquakes and volcanoes, help predict when a tsunami might happen to save lives.

This teamwork not only makes us better prepared for natural disasters, but also shows how important science and engineering jobs are in helping us stay safe. By studying tsunamis, we understand how using knowledge from different areas, like earth science and building design, can help protect people and lessen the damage caused by these big waves.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can humans reduce the impact of natural disasters?
Humans can reduce the impact of natural disasters by analyzing scientific data to make predictions about future events and also by improving engineering design to make buildings and structures that are more likely to withstand damage in earthquake activity.
What makes predicting tornadoes different from predicting hurricanes?
Tornadoes are predicted by meteorologists analyzing atmospheric conditions like wind speed and air pressure. Hurricanes are predicted by satellite imaging that detects rotating air masses over warm, tropical, and subtropical waters.
Where are earthquakes predicted to most likely to occur?
Earthquakes occur most commonly along plate boundaries. When plates rub against or compress on one another, rock breaks beneath the surface of Earth, releasing energy and causing the Earth's crust to move and shake.
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