Tsunami formation

Tsunami formation

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Credit: GARY HINCKS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tsunami formation. Artwork of the formation of a tsunami following an underwater earthquake at a subduction zone. The panel at left shows the vertical movement of the seabed (red arrow) that displaces water upwards and downwards (blue and green arrows), creating waves in both directions (horizontal blue arrows). The centre panel shows these waves moving rapidly (hundreds of kilometres an hour) in the open sea, passing harmlessly under boats. The panel at right shows the water receding from the coast (green arrow) as the slowing waves bunch up in shallow coastal areas, towering tens of metres above the original sea level (dotted line). A large mass of water crashes ashore as a tsunami, causing immense damage and destruction.

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