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dave_c | 22:40 Tue 13th Sep 2005 | Science
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What's the difference between a Tidal Wave & a Tsunami?



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A tsunami is a chain of fast moving waves caused by sudden trauma in the ocean. They can be generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or even the impact of meteorites.

Tsunami are also incorrectly known as tidal waves, but unlike tidal waves they are not caused by changes in the tides.


A tsunami is a sea wave of seimic origin.

A tidal wave is created solely by tidal forces - an example being the Severn Bore.

Normal waves that you see crashing on the beach are formed by wind on the sea / ocean surface - often many thousands of kilometres from where they eventually break onshore.

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