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Tsunami : Definition

On the way to being the most popular word of the year, tsumami is such a strange word, that I get people asking me "what is tsunami?" is it japanese? The answer is yes. Have you been paying attention in Geography class?

What is tsunami?

A tsunami (pronounced TSOO-NAH-MEE) is a wave train, or series of
waves, generated in a body of water by an impulsive disturbance that
vertically displaces the water column. Earthquakes, landslides,
volcanic eruptions, explosions, and even the impact of cosmic bodies,
such as meteorites, can generate tsunamis. Tsunamis can savagely
attack coastlines, causing devastating property damage and loss of
life. A tsunami can also be called "seismic sea wave", because they're
similar to seismic waves but travel through the ocean instead of
through land

Tsunami is a Japanese word with the English translation, "harbor wave".

Represented by two characters, the top character, "tsu", means harbor,
while the bottom character, "nami", means "wave". In the past, the
scientific community sometimes referred to tsunamis as "tidal waves".
The term "tidal wave" is a misnomer; although a tsunami's impact upon
a coastline is dependent upon the tidal level at the time a tsunami
strikes, tsunamis are unrelated to the tides. Tides result from the
imbalance, extraterrestrial, gravitational influences of the moon,
sun, and planets. The term "seismic sea wave" is also misleading.
"Seismic" implies an earthquake-related generation mechanism, but a
tsunami can also be caused by a non-seismic event, such as a landslide
or meteorite impact.

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