How Are Tsunamis Formed?


[Orchestra Music] – Hey there, this is Brain
Stuff and I’m Josh Clark, and this is the Brain Stuff
where I explain to you how tsunamis work. The word tsunami actually
comes from two Japanese words, “tsu,” meaning harbor,
and “nami,” meaning waves. Basically, when you put
them together it means that when these waves hit the harbor, brother, you better get out of there. There are some differences
between a tsunami wave and a regular Joe Schmo wave,
but any wave is actually an energy carrier. We tend to think of waves as
water moving through itself, but actually waves are
energy moving through water. The difference between a
tsunami wave and a regular wave is how that energy is
transferred, and how much energy that wave packs. So the ordinary, typical,
Joe Schmo, surfer dude wave propagates from wind
blowing across the surface of the ocean. Well, Buckminster Fuller pointed
out that the wind actually sucks, it doesn’t blow,
but that’s a different Brain Stuff episode entirely. A tsunami wave, however, is
propagated by some sort of underwater disturbance. These are called “tsunamigenic events.” So things like an
underwater rock slide, or an underwater earthquake,
or an underwater volcano can all set off a tsunami. So think of a rock pile or
a couple of tectonic plates sliding against each other on a fault line as possessing a ton of stored energy. We call this “potential energy.” Now when one tectonic plate suddenly slips beneath the other, this
potential energy is released as kinetic energy. This energy is transferred
outward from the point of origin in much the same way as when
you take a rock or a pebble and throw it into a pond. It creates ripples, right? Well, with a tsunami these
ripples, waves, radiate from the point of origin
traveling at hundreds of miles an hour, carrying with
them a lot of energy. Now if you’re watching a tsunami
wave out in the deep ocean, what you’re gonna see is
about a three foot tall wave traveling really, really fast. But what you’re seeing,
metaphorically speaking, is just the tip of the iceberg. This incredibly deep ocean
wave that’s traveling so fast encounters, ultimately, the shoreline. The shoreline that slopes
upward compresses the energy of the tsunami wave. It slows its velocity down
tremendously, but it also forces it upward, so what
once was a three foot wave is now something like a
hundred feet, and it’s at the shore. One of the big misconceptions
about tsunamis is that they exist as just one wave,
but remember they’re a lot like a pebble created by a
rock tossed into the pond. A bunch of ripples are created. When the first tsunami
waves reach the shoreline and slow down, the waves in
the rear start to catch up. They compress, forming what’s known as a “tsunami wave train.” Since tsunamis pose such a
danger, scientists are constantly trying to figure out
how to deal with them. The thing is, is since we’re
talking about such a huge release of kinetic energy,
once a tsunami starts, there’s no stopping it. So the best science can hope
for is to predict their path and power so they can warn
coastal areas to clear out as soon as possible. Have you ever seen a tsunami? Let us know in the comments
below, and while you’re down there, go ahead and subscribe. And for even more great videos,
go to brainstuffshow.com.

100 thoughts on “How Are Tsunamis Formed?

  1. Would have been nice to give a shout out to the @NOAAPMEL DART® (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) program http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/Dart/

  2. Lol.No mention of HAARP….or planting nukes in the seabed. Remember…9/11…and then…3/11 Fukushima…This is disinformation at its best!!!

  3. All I want to know is what should I pack to be ready for a tsunami because the city I live has been overdue for a tsunami. So now it could happen anytime.

  4. I really want to know more about tsunamis. I met a girl in Bali who lived I Japan and saw the Japanese tsunami. She had to move though cause your house got destroyed

  5. I think next Thursday there will be a earthquake here at California it will be the great California shake is going to be big

  6. That was really helpful.Thank you i got all the information i need. Unfortunately i have not seen a Tsunami

  7. The jew controlled science industry/religion cannot explain the water receding before it washes in….too bad I'm German American and am smarter than your brightest jew that you spotlight every chance you get….so wrong on everything jews….I can show with my white goy creativity and a simple model why jew science is wrong with tsunami models.

  8. Wrong when the underwater anything happens the water level goes over the water level gravity hits the centre creating water waves with power

  9. Please explain to people how the energy at any point in a displacement generated wave decreases as it travels from the source. There are ridiculous people spreading scare stories of how the Canary Islands will fall into the sea in one quick dunk, and that the wave will destroy the East Coast of the US for up to 500 miles inland. They spread this scare story after admitting that the supposed mountain that will fall, is riddled with fractures, so it will most likely crumble into the ocean rather than fall as one giant chunk. The height of the displacement wave would depend on the amount of displacement and the interval of time of the displacement. In other words, you can drop ten pounds of pebbles into a pond, pouring them in over a span of 30 seconds, and you can drop a ten pound rock into a pond. The rock displaces the same volume of water as the pebbles would, but it does so instantly, and it generates a wave much larger than would occur from sprinkling the pebbles. Then explain to people that even that large wave decreases in height and energy as it expands, until it seems to completely dissipate as each point in the wave has less and less energy and height.

  10. I’ve been in tsunami but my oldest brother died the rest of my family survived but almost everyone in the city died and the whole city was destroyed:(

  11. i was interested in Tsunamis before i knew it had this name. i had a lot of intense and vivid nightmares as a child and tsunamiwaves on the beach with cliffs (so you cant run away from it) was what gave me fear of water for like four years. now i'm not afraid of it anymore (because i like swimming and diving deep in the swimming pool), but i do get those tsunami dreams more again as its one of, if not, the most reocurring dream i have out there. i knew about the name Tsunami after the Tsunamiwave of 2004 Indonesia. and since then my interest became huge of these things because i saw exactly what i experienced in my dreams although that from indonesian 2004 tsunami i saw on the news on tv. its not that i'm afraid of it anymore but i still have some of these intense tsunami dreams. it made me get more interessed in the subject. it can also be because i love natural disasters a lot lik vulcano eruptions, asteroid impact, tornados, hurricanes, and ofcourse.. tsunamis. but i do prefer not witness it in real life. it would be scary to be honest. and i do have a lot of fear with these dreams when they occur. those waves in my dreams were huge, more bigger than all Tsunamis i known, well, maybe not so big as the tsunami that wiped out a lot of the dinosaurs if the meteorite didn't already killed them.

  12. Here is some info. Tsunami waves are formed as the displaced water, which acts under the influence of gravity, attempts to find a stable position again. Undersea landslides, which can be caused by large earthquakes, can also cause tsunami waves to form as water attempts to find a stable position.

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