Tsunami - Essay Example (Boork, 2005). a. Studies into the causes of tsunamis have revealed that there are actually many different factors that can lead to tsunami generation â€“ including the already mentioned earthquake â€“ but not every earthquake causes a tsunami and not every tsunami is caused by earthquake. b. Earthquakes can cause tsunamis. It is generally believed that earthquakes that move in a vertical direction are more likely to cause tsunami, but Dr. Tony Song from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has shown how â€œhorizontal motions of continental slopes confer five times the energy of a vertical displacement.â€ (Mayer, 2006), indicating that movement of the continental margins should be the focus of tsunami detection. c. Landslides are another possible cause of tsunamis, whether they occur above or below the water level. Landslides that occur above water and slide into the water can cause tsunamis while underwater landslides can cause a high degree of water displacement. These landslides can be caused by excessive flooding or, more commonly as global warming continues, due to the melting of layers of permafrost. Sometimes underwater landslides work in combination with earthquakes to cause tsunami. â€œFor example, submarine slope failures can be triggered by much smaller earthquakes which could not cause a tsunami by themselves.â€ (Lauterjung cited in Mayer, 2006). d. A third way in which tsunamis can be generated is with the eruption of volcanoes, again with equal devastating effect regardless of whether the volcano exists above or below the water level. â€œTsunamis started by this process are uncommon, but present a real threat to residents of the lower Cook Inlet region, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian Islands.â€ (Haeussler, 2006). f. Characteristics of tsunamis caused by earthquakes and volcanoes are that they travel long distances from the earthquakes epicenter and strike coastlines thousands of miles from their
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