Tsunami Glossary


Back More to the on Plane Volcan os ts
Bathypelagic means of, pertaining to, or living in the deep ocean near the bottom.

An avalanche is a a large mass of falling Aftershocks are and/or sliding active volcano small An active volcano earthquakes that material. Avalanches can be composed of is one that has occur after a rock, snow, soil, or erupted in large ice. Volcanic recorded history earthquake. eruptions can cause or is currently avalanches. erupting.



A buoy al shelf is a The floating continental device shelf is the that is part of the tethered ocean floor to the next to each sea of the floor. continents. Buoys continental plates The sea can The crust of the Earth floor slopes mark an is broken into plates. gradually Top of Form offshore The plates are from the location, enormous chunks of continent to Forward Backward warn of rock that float atop a depth of Bottom of Form danger, the soft mantle. The about 650 or show plates are moving at a feet (200 continental drift a ship speed that has been m). Beyond where a Continental drift is the movement of estimated at 1 to 10 the navigabl the Earth's continents. The land cm per year. continental masses are hunks of Earth's crust Continental plates are shelf the e channel that float on the molten core. The thicker, older, and less sea floor ideas of continental drift and the is. dense than oceanic drops existence of a supercontinent plates. These plates steeply. (Pangaea) were presented by Alfred are about 125 Wegener in 1915. kilometers thick and are made of granite that is about 3 billion years old.



The crest of a wave is its highest point.


A current is a debris non-periodic avalanche horizontal A debris movement of avalanche is a water. Currents sudden are caused by rock/soil/debris winds, crust slide and flows temperature with great speed The Earth's crust is its differentials, from a volcano. outermost, rocky layer. and other forces. They are NOT caused by tidal forces (the gravitational forces of the Moon and Sun). Some major currents include the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean and the Humboldt Current in the Pacific Ocean.


Drawback is a phenomenon in which the ocean recedes before a tsunami strikes a coast.


An earthquake is a The epicenter is the eruption sudden, violent point on the Earth's An eruption is movement of the surface directly volcanic activity earth's crust. above the place that in which lava, an earthquake tephra, or gases occured. are released.



The frequency of guyot a wave is the A guyot is a number of times flat-topped, that a wave is undersea produced within mountain (a a time period. seamount) formed from a volcano.


A hot spot is a an area in the Earth's lithosphere through which magma (molten rock) rises. Volcanoes often erupt over hot spots.


Krakatoa is a composite volcano located in Indonesia. On August 26, 1883 Krakatoa erupted violently, destroying most of the volcano and killing thousands of people. This was one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in


modern times.

The K-T extinction was the mass extinction that occurred 65 million years ago, at the boundary of the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods.

K-T extinction

The intensity of an lahar earthquake is described by a A lahar (also number in the Richter scale, called a mudflow called the magnitude. The or debris flow) is lava a moving mixture Lava is molten magnitude of an earthquake is calculated from the of rock, water, rock. It usually and other debris comes out of logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded by that falls down erupting seismographs. A magnitude the slopes of a volcanoes. 2.0 or less earthquake is volcano and/or a called a microearthquake and river valley. is not felt by people. A Lahar is an magnitude 4.5 or more Indonesian word earthquake can be measured by seismographs all over the world. Tsunamis can be caused by undersea earthquakes of magnitude 7.5 or greater.


Maremoto is meteor the Spanish meteorite A meteor is a meteoroid word for A meteorite is a that has entered the Earth's tsunami. meteor that has atmosphere, usually fallen to Earth. making a fiery trail as it Meteorites are falls. It is sometimes called either stone, iron, a shooting star. Most burn or stony-iron. up before hitting the Earth.


Meteoroids are tiny stones or pieces of metal that travel through space.


Pertaini ng to the shallow waters near the shore over the continen tal shelf.


oceanograp her
A oceanographe r is a scientist who studies oceans. The crust of the Earth is broken into plates. The plates are enormous chunks of rock that float atop the soft mantle. The plates are moving at a speed that has been estimated at 1 to 10 cm per year. Oceanic plates (those that are under the ocean) are thinner, younger, and denser than continental plates. These underwater plates are about 75 kilometers thick and are made of basalt rock. They are relatively young since plate formation (seafloor spreading) occurs at the margins of oceanic plates.

oceanic plates

An ocean is a vast body of salt water. Oceans cover more than three-quarters of the surface of the Earth. The oceans on Earth include the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. The ocean floors are composed mostly of basalt.


Period is the time between two successi ve waves.


The crust of the Earth is broken into plates. The plates Forward Backward are enormous chunks of rock Bottom of Form that float atop the soft mantle. The plates are plate tectonics moving at a speed that has Plate tectonics is the nowbeen estimated at 1 to 10 cm established theory that chunks of per year. Oceanic plates the Earth's crust (plates) float on (those that are under the ocean) are thinner and denser the surface and change both position and size over time. than continental plates.


Top of Form

Razdemarée is the French word for tsunam i.

razdemaré e

The Richter scale is a Charles Francis logarithmic scale that Richter (April measures the intensity 26, 1900- April of an earthquake. It 30, 1985) was a was developed in 1935 who developed by Charles F. Richter. the Richter scale, The magnitude of an earthquake is a logarithmic calculated from the scale that logarithm of the measures the amplitude of waves intensity of an recorded by earthquake. He developed it in seismographs. Beno Gutenberg also 1935 at the contributed to the more California general application of Institute of the Richter scale. A Technology. magnitude 2.0 or less earthquake is called a microearthquake and is

Richter, Charles F.

Richter scale

A rift (or graben) is a valley between two faults.


The ring of fire is an area around the Pacific Ocean that is high in volcanic, mountain-building, and seismic activity.

ring of fire

not felt by people. A magnitude 4.5 or more earthquake can be measured by seismographs all over the world.

A rock is an aggregation The rock cycle Runoff is water (or Runup is the of solid matter, a random decribes the other liquids) that height of the conglomerate of relationship between drains or flows water pushed minerals. The earth's igneous, sedimentary, from the land into onshore crust is made of rock. and metamorphic streams and rivers, (above There are three types of rocks. James Hutton and eventually into normal sea rock: igneous, (1727-1797) first the seas. The water level) after a sedimentary, and developed the is generally from tsunami. metamorphic. Petrology concept of the rock rain or snowpack is the scientific study of cycle. melt. rocks. Seiche (saysh): a series of standing waves (sloshing action) of an enclosed body or partially enclosed body of water caused by earthquake shaking. Seiche action can affect harbors, bays, lakes, rivers, and canals.


rock cycle



Sea level is the normal level of the sea's surface, halfway seafloor spreading between Seafloor spreading is the mean high movement of two oceanic and low plates away from each tide levels. other, which results in the formation of new oceanic crust and a mid-ocean ridge.

sea level

A seamount is an underwater mountain that rises at least 1000 meters above the sea floor. Some seamounts rise above the water's surface. Most seamounts are volcanic in orgin; only a few are nonvolcanic (caused by uplifting).


A seiche is a series of standing waves in an enclosed (or partially enclosed) body of water, like a lake, bay, or river. The seiche waves are caused by an earthquake or landlide and cause water to slosh along the shore.


A seismograph A spreading is a device that ridge is an records and area of the measures ocean floor seismic waves in which new (vibrations in the crust is being Earth), like formed as those from magma earthquakes. erupts. A subduction is a phenomenon in which one part of the Earth's crust (a plate) is pushed underneath another plate as two plates collide. The descending crust melts as it is pushed deep into the Earth's mantle. Subduction destroys crust and recycles it back into the mantle.

spreading seismograph ridge

A subduction zone is an area on a planet's crust in which the edge of an oceanic continental plate is being pushed beneath another plate.

subduction zone


Tectonic tidal activity is wave the shifting Tidal wave trough of a planet's is an The trough of a surface incorrect wave is its lowest because of term that tide point. changes refers to a A tide is a periodic rise and fall of deep inside tsunami. large bodies of water. Tides are the body. caused by the gravitational Earthquakes, interaction between the Earth and fissures, the Moon. The gravitational rifts, and attraction of the moon causes the volcanoes oceans to bulge out in the direction are some of the moon. Another bulge occurs results of on the opposite side, since the tectonic Earth is also being pulled toward activity. the moon (and away from the water on the far side). Since the earth is rotating while this is happening, two tides occur each day. Isaac

tectonic activity

Newton was the first person to explain tides scientifically.

A volcanic A tsunami (also called a seismic seamount is an underwater sea wave) is a volcano that huge wave, caused rises at least 50by undersea 100 m above earthquakes, the sea floor. volcanic eruptions, Some or, more rarely, by seamounts rise asteroid or above the meteoroid impact (as in the case of water's surface. the K-T extinction).


volcanic seamount

A volcano is a place on the Earth's surface (or any other planet's or moon's surface) where molten rock, gases and pyroclastic debris erupt through the earth's crust. Volcanoes vary quite a bit in their structure some are cracks in the earth's crust where lava erupts, and some are domes, shields, or mountain-like structures with a crater at the summit. Some types of volcanoes include: caldera, cinder cone, hornito, lava dome, maar, mud volcano, shield volcano, spatter cone, and stratovolcano. The word volcano is from Latin; it comes from the ancient Romans god of fire and metalworking, Vulcan.


Most waves are caused by the wind. Tsunami waves are caused by the undersea displacement of a huge volume of water caused by an earthquake, volcano, rock slide, etc.


A vulcanologist is a scientist who studies volcanoes.


The wavelength of a waves is the distance from crest to crest or from trough to trough.


Introductio How Fast is The Continent Ocean Cloud Magnetosphe n: Size, Earth Atmosphe Moon al Drift s s re Orbit, etc. Moving? re How is its Why Geologi Axis Tilt, Mass Inside Water Greenhous is the Activities, c Time Seasons Determine the Earth Cycle e Effect Sky Web Links Chart d? Blue?

All About Plate Tectonics:
Earth's Plates and Continental Drift The Earth's rocky outer crust solidified billions of years ago, soon after the Earth formed. This crust is not a solid shell; it is broken up into huge, thick plates that drift atop the soft, underlying mantle. The plates are made of rock and drift all over the globe; they move both horizontally (sideways) and vertically (up and down). Over long periods of time, the plates also change in size as their margins are added to, crushed together, or pushed back into the Earth's mantle. These plates are from 50 to 250 miles (80 to 400 km) thick.

Top of Form



Bottom of Form

The map of the Earth is always changing; not only are the underlying plates moving, but the plates change in size. Also, the sea level changes over time (as the temperature on Earth varies and the poles melt or freeze to varied extents), covering or exposing different amounts of crust. Earth's Major Plates:

The current continental and oceanic plates include: the Eurasian plate, Australian-Indian plate, Philippine plate, Pacific plate, Juan de Fuca plate, Nazca plate, Cocos plate, North American plate, Caribbean plate, South American plate, African plate, Arabian plate, the Antarctic plate, and the Scotia plate. These plates consist of smaller sub-plates.


The theory of plate tectonics (meaning "plate structure") was developed in the 1960's. This theory explains the movement of the Earth's plates (which has since been documented scientifically) and also explains the cause of earthquakes, volcanoes, oceanic trenches, mountain range formation, and many other geologic phenomenon. The plates are moving at a speed that has been estimated at 1 to 10 cm per year. Most of the Earth's seismic activity (volcanoes and earthquakes) occurs at the plate boundaries as they interact. The top layer of the

Av Ave er rage Type of ag Major Thic Crust e Component knes Ag s e 20- 3 Contin 80 bill ental kilo ion Granite Crust mete ye rs ars Ge ner all y 70 10 to Oceani kilo 10 Basalt c Crust mete 0 rs mil lio n ye ars old

Earth's surface is called the crust (it lies on top of the plates). Oceanic crust (the thin crust under the oceans) is thinner and denser than continental crust. Crust is constantly being created and destroyed; oceanic crust is more active than continental crust. Under the crust is the rocky mantle, which is composed of silicon, oxygen, magnesium, iron, aluminum, and calcium. The upper mantle is rigid and is part of the lithosphere (together with the crust). The lower mantle flows slowly, at a rate of a few centimeters per year. The asthenosphere is a part of the upper mantle that exhibits plastic properties. It is located below the lithosphere (the crust and upper mantle), between about 100 and 250 kilometers deep. TYPES OF PLATE MOVEMENT: Divergence, Convergence, and Lateral Slipping At the boundaries of the plates, various deformations occur as the plates interact; they separate from one another (seafloor spreading), collide (forming mountain ranges), slip past one another (subduction zones, in which plates undergo destruction and remelting), and slip laterally.

Divergent Plate Movement: Seafloor Spreading Seafloor spreading is the movement of two oceanic plates away from each other (at a divergent plate boundary), which results in the formation of new oceanic crust (from magma that comes from within the Earth's mantle) along a a mid-ocean ridge. Where the oceanic plates are moving away from each other is called a zone of divergence. Ocean floor spreading was first suggested by Harry Hess and Robert Dietz in the 1960's. Convergent Plate Movement: When two plates collide (at a convergent plate boundary), some crust is destroyed in the impact and the plates become smaller. The results differ, depending upon what types of plates are involved. Oceanic Plate and Continental Plate - When a thin, dense oceanic plate collides with a relatively light, thick continental plate, the oceanic plate is forced under the continental plate; this phenomenon is called subduction. Two Oceanic Plates - When two oceanic plates collide, one may be pushed under the other and magma from the mantle rises, forming volcanoes in the vicinity. Two Continental Plates - When two continental plates collide, mountain ranges are created as the colliding crust is compressed and pushed upwards. Lateral Slipping Plate Movement: When two plates move sideways against each other (at a transform plate boundary), there is a tremendous amount of friction which makes the movement jerky. The plates slip, then stick as the friction and pressure build up to incredible levels. When the pressure is released suddenly, and the plates suddenly jerk apart, this is an earthquake.


Read the definitions, then label the diagram below.
Definitions ash cloud - an ash cloud is the cloud of ash that forms in the air after some volcanic eruptions. magma chamber - a magma chamber contains magma (molten rock) deep within the Earth's crust.

conduit - a conduit is a passage through which side vent - a side vent is a vent in the side of a magma (molten rock) flows in a volcano. volcano. crust - the crust is Earth's outermost, rocky layer. lava - lava is molten rock; it usually comes out of erupting volcanoes. vent - a vent is an opening in the Earth's surface through which volcanic materials erupt.

Tsunami Activities: Printouts, Quizzes, and other Activities

Tsunami: Cloze Activity Printout Tsunami Quiz Printout Take a 10Fill in the question quiz blanks (using on tsunamis Tsunami a word bank) circle the right Tsunami Warning Printable Book in a passage answers. Or go Printout A short, printable book about about to the answers. A printout on warning tsunamis for fluent readers. tsunamis. signs of a tsunami. Answers

Ocean and The Great Wave Seas: Off Kanagawa Tsunami Origin Tsunami Hitting the Label Me! Color a page of the Label Me! Printout Printout Coast Great Wave Off Label the parts of a Label the Label Me! Printout Kanagawa by the wave, the direction of oceans and Japanese painter and Label the parts of a water column wave, sea level, and the major seas of printmaker movement, and oceanic the Earth. Katsushika Hokusai runup. plate movement. Answers Answers (from the 1700s). Answers

Ring of Fire Map: Label Ring of Fire Continental Me! Printout

Ring of Fire: Outline Map Printout

Plates Map: Label Me! An outline map of the Ring of Label the oceans and Printout Fire to print. The Ring of Fire continents surrounding the Label the continental is the seismically active area Ring of Fire. plates near the Ring of on the margins of the Pacific Answers Fire. Ocean. Answers

Major Tsunamis
Tsunamis occur in oceans, seas, and large bodies of water; ninety percent of tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean. Some of the world's largest tsunamis include:

65 million years ago Chicxulub crater at the tip of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula -- Caused by a meteoroid impact. This impact and tsunami may have triggered the K-T mass extinction (which wiped out the terrestrial dinosaurs and many other organisms). 1490 B.C. Greece (Aegean Sea) -- Tsunami caused by the eruption/collapse of the volcano of Santorini. This tsunami may have caused the end of the Minoan civilization in Greece. January 26, 1700 - Japan (Pacific Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 off the western coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. August 26, 1883 Indonesia -- Tsunami caused by the eruption/collapse of the volcano Krakatoa. Almost 40,000 people died. June 15, 1896 Honshu, Japan -- 28,000 people killed. November 18, 1929 Grand Banks, Canada (Atlantic Ocean) -Tsunami caused by an offshore earthquake of magnitude 7.2. 27 people died. April 1, 1946 Aleutian Islands, Alaska (Pacific Ocean) -Tsunami caused by an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Over 170 people died. November 4, 1952 Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia (Pacific Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an earthquake of magnitude 8.2 off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia). No lives lost. March 9, 1957 Aleutian Islands, Alaska (Pacific Ocean) -Tsunami caused by an earthquake of magnitude 8.3 that

• •

occurred south of the Andreanof Islands (in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska). No lives lost.

July 9, 1958 Lituya Bay, Alaska -- Tsunami caused by a landslide. Initial wave up to 520 meters ( 1,720 feet) high traveling at 160 kph (100 mph). May 22, 1960 Chile (Pacific Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an earthquake of magnitude 8.3 that occurred off the coast of South Central Chile. Up to 2,290 people died (due to the Earthquake and tsunami). March 28, 1964 Prince Williams Sound, Alaska (Pacific Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an an earthquake of magnitude 8.4 in Prince William Sound (Alaska). 122 people died. November 29, 1975 Hawaii (Pacific Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 (and subsequent rock slide). 2 people died. Ssptember 1, 17, 1992 Nicaragua (Pacific Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an offshore earthquake of magnitude 7.0. About 200 people killed. July 17, 1998 Papua-New Guinea -- Tsunami caused by an underwater landslide that was triggered by an earthquake. Thousands of people killed. June 23, 2001 Southern Peru (Pacific Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an earthquake. December 26, 2004 Indonesia, W Thailand, Sri Lanka, SE India (Indian Ocean) -- Tsunami caused by an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 in the southern Indian Ocean. About 150,000 people died in the tsunamis.

• •

Label the Origin of a Tsunami

More Tsunami Activities

• This is a thumbnail of the "Label the Label the Origin of a tsunami" page. The full-size printout is available only to site members. • To subscribe to Enchanted Learning, click here. • If you are already a site member, click here. • Word Bank: Column of Water Drops with Seafloor Column of Water Rises with Seafloor Crest

Oceanic Plate Drops Oceanic Plate Rises Sea level Trough

The Development of a Tsunami: A tsunami starts when a huge volume of water is quickly shifted. This rapid movement can happen as the result of an underwater earthquake (when the sea floor quickly moves up or down), a rock slide, a volcanic eruption, or another high-energy event. • After the huge volume of water has moved, the resulting wave is very long (the distance from crest to crest can be hundred of miles long) but not very tall (roughly 3 feet tall). The wave propagates (spreads) across the sea in all directions; it can travel great distances from the source at tremendous speeds.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful