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Table of Contents
A tsunami is a series of fast-moving waves in the ocean caused by powerful earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. A tsunami has a very long wavelength. It can be hundreds of kilometers long and devastating when it reaches land.
See the fact file below for more information on Tsunami or alternatively, you can download our 27-page Tsunami worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ORIGIN AND CAUSES OF TSUNAMI
- Tsunami is a Japanese word. ‘Tsu’ translates to harbor and ‘nami’ to wave or ‘great harbor wave.’
- Tsunamis are sometimes called ‘tidal waves’ but their strength has nothing to do with the tides because their origins are different.
- About four out of five tsunamis occur within the Pacific Ring Of Fire, a circular zone in the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions frequently take place.
- However, there are other factors that trigger tsunamis:
- Meteorite impacts; Underwater explosions;
- Volcanic eruptions; Mass movement above or underwater; earthquakes, and
- Nuclear weapons testing in the ocean.
- When a body of water is rapidly displaced due to the causes stated above, a series of waves are created.
- When triggered in deep waters, the displaced water travels as fast as 800 kph (500 mph).
- But as a tsunami reaches the coastline, friction with the rising sea bottom reduces the velocity of the waves resulting in shortened wavelengths but taller wave outputs.
- Depending on the severity of the event that triggered the tsunami, waves can reach as low as 10 meters or as high as 100 meters. Scientists however theorize that mega-tsunamis happened long before recorded history.
- The rushing waters enter coastal areas, ripping buildings off their foundations, carrying boats inshore, washing away beaches and uprooting trees.
- Depending on the topography of the coastline, waves of water reach as far as they can go. Recent records such as the 2011 Japan tsunami surge reached as high as 38 meters (124.7 feet) and as far as six miles in Sendai.
SIGNS OF TSUNAMI
- The International Tsunami Information Center listed natural tsunami warnings that coastal residents and visitors should be fully aware of: (Source link on Speaker’s Notes)
- Big local earthquakes may cause tsunamis
- FEEL the ground shaking severely, or for a long time?
- Tsunamis may be preceded by a rapid fall in sea level as the ocean recedes, exposing reefs, rocks, and fishes on the sea bottom.
- Tsunamis often come ashore as a wall of water, and quickly flood inland.
- SEE an unusual disappearance of water or an oncoming wall of water?
- Abnormal ocean activity, a wall of water, and
- approaching tsunami create a loud roaring
- sound similar to that of a train or jet aircraft.
- HEAR the roar?
- Don’t wait for official evacuation orders.
- Immediately leave low-lying coastal areas.
- Move inland to higher ground.
- RUN if you see a tsunami coming!
TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEMS
- Before the modern tsunami warning system, ancient Japanese people used ancient markers, called the Aneyoshi tablet, to warn builders of high water. The local stone monument states: “Do not build any homes below this point. High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants. Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis.”
- Just by earthquakes and changing shorelines, we already understand a tsunami could come. However, governments in many coastal regions developed an effective way to warn all the people in an upcoming tsunami.
- The basic role of the warning systems is to provide as precise information as possible about the threat so that the rescue and emergency units can quickly evacuate coastal residents and protect human and animal lives.
- There are 4 international tsunami warning systems placed on the world oceans: the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and connected seas, and the Caribbean.
- To effectively inform all the residents, the government or scientists usually:
- Send radio, television, or internet warnings and text messages.
- Send warnings to local government officials.
- Sound tsunami sirens or broadcasting devices in the immediate vicinity of potentially affected areas.
NOTABLE TSUNAMIS IN RECENT HISTORY
- Sumatra, Indonesia (2004) – The 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra occurred 30 km deep. The fault zone that triggered the tsunami was about 1,300 km (808 mi) long. The tsunami’s height reached 50 m (164 f) and 5 km (3 m) inland near Meubolah, Sumatra. Around 230,000 people were reported dead.
- North Pacific Coast, Japan (2011) – The tsunami was spawned by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake reaching depths of 24.4km (15 mi). More than 18,000 people were killed.
- Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami (2018) – A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, resulting in 1.5-meter tsunami waves, causing widespread destruction to Palu and Donggala. More than 2,000 people were killed.
- Chile Earthquake and Tsunami (2010) – A magnitude of 8.8 earthquake at a depth of 22 miles (35 km) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean struck and devastated the coastal areas of Chile. 525 people were left dead and 25 missing.
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Tsunami across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about a Tsunami which is a series of fast-moving waves in the ocean caused by powerful earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Tsunami Facts
- Underwater Causes
- Causes Above Ground
- Tsunami Prone
- Make it Right
- When Tsunamis Hit
- Eruption and Tsunami
- Speed of a Tsunami
- The God of the Sea
- Signs of a Tsunami
- Acrostic Poetry
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Link will appear as Tsunami Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 22, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.