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Tsunami generation

Tsunami generation

E275/0051

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Credit

CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Tsunami generation, computer model. Tsunami are powerful waves caused by a displacement of the ocean floor. Here, an earthquake caused a seabed rupture (bottom centre), which leads to a rapid decrease in sea surface height directly above it. This generated the huge tsunami waves. In the open ocean, tsunamis are very shallow with a very long wavelength, and can travel extremely fast, up to 1000 kilometres per hour. However, when the wave reaches shallower water, the waves are slowed and pile up, reducing the wavelength and increasing their height. The waves can tower over 30 metres in height. Unlike normal waves, tsunamis do not break and then recede, the initial wave is followed by an enormous mass of water, which causes the majority of the damage.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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