Tsunami – UPSC GS1

Which factors cause Tsunamis? Examine what caused Fukushima tsunami of 2011 and Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2006. (200 Words)

Tsunami is a series of wave caused by displacement in large volume of water caused mainly in ocean. A tsunami of high magnitude can cause intense damage to life and economy as happened during Fukushima and Indian Ocean tsunami.
The below factors cause Tsunami-
  1. Seismicity/Earthquakes- When crust below the sea abruptly deforms then it transfers massive amount of energy to water which takes form of the surge .This is the cause of Fukushima tsunami
  2. Landslides– They displace huge masses in submarine landslides providing energy at a rate more than water body can absorb hence causing tsunami. Landslides can be result of volcanic activity as well. Such tsunami has taken place in Alaska , Hawaii islands
  3. Deep Depressions like Tropical Cyclones– They can cause Tsunami due to low atmospheric pressure and swirling winds which can lift water and make it travel with the cyclone. E.g. Super Cyclone of 1999
  4. Other factors – glacial convulsions, meteoric activity, manmade nuclear blasts also have potentials of causing tsunami
The Fukushima Tsunami was caused by earthquake in Pacific floor which was built up for 9 years as per the experts. It occurred where Pacific plate sub-ducts beneath North America Plate on which Japan archipelago rests.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami was caused by the thrust fault where Indian plate sub ducts under Burma plate



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