Explainer: Telling a tsunami from a seiche

Like the waves caused by jostling in a bathtub — these move water, only enormously more water and with more devastating power

By Stephen Ornes, 18:45 PM March 25, 2014

Splash in the bathtub and waves slosh. Toss a rock into a pond and ripples move outward in expanding rings. In each case, the water moves in waves. Those waves carry energy. And the more energy that gets added to a watery environment, the more powerful the waves may become.

 

Now imagine an undersea earthquake or landslide and the tremendous amount of energy it can transfer. This movement of Earth's crust can shift huge volumes of water, unleashing a parade of great and powerful waves. This wat...

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