Other Tsunamis

The largest tsunamis in the geological record are generated by the impact of giant asteroids with the earth. These types of events do not happen very often and none are known from historical records, but when they do occur they are cataclysmic. Geologists are beginning to recognize deposits of impact-generated tsunamis and now estimate that they may reach several thousand feet (1 km) in height. One such tsunami was generated about 66 million years ago by an impact that struck the shoreline of the Yucat√°n Peninsula, producing the Chicxulub impact structure. This impact produced a huge crater and sent a 3,000-foot- (1-km-) high tsunami around the Atlantic, devastating the Caribbean and the U.S. gulf coast. Subsequent fires and atmospheric dust that blocked the Sun for several years killed off many of the planet's species, including the dinosaurs. Even relatively small meteorites that hit the ocean have the potential to generate significant tsunamis. A meteorite only 1,000 feet (300 m) in diameter would produce a tsunami seven feet (2 m) tall that could strongly affect coastal regions for 600 miles (1,000 km) around the impact site. Statistical analysis predicts about a 1 percent chance of impact-related tsunami events happening once every 50 years.

Weather-related phenomena may also rarely generate tsunamis. In some special situations, large variations in atmospheric pressure, especially at temperate latitudes, can generate long-wavelength waves (tsunamis) that resonate, or become larger, in bays and estuaries. Although these types of tsunamis are not generated by displacement of the seafloor, they do have all the waveform characteristics of other tsunamis and are therefore classified as such.

Continue reading here: Physics Of Tsunami Movement

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