History and Scientific Understanding of Tsunamis Essay

History and Scientific Understanding of Tsunamis Essay

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Tsunamis are one of the most dangerous natural disasters known to mankind that cause devastating effects on society. Despite the fact that tsunamis are not frequent phenomena, it causes huge causalities once it occurs. The number of deaths could reach 420 thousand a year, accompanied by the destruction of many costal residences. But despite the fact that tsunami damages are inevitable, it can be reduced.
The word tsunami was originated from the Japanese words “Tsu” meaning “harbor”, and “Nami” meaning “wave”. It is believed that ancient Japanese sailors used this word because they were able to predict the arrival of Tsunami huge waves from observing the unusual wave activity nearby harbors. But that is most likely untrue because predicting the time and location of an upcoming tsunami is nearly impossible till this very day (Bernard et al. 3).
In the past, there was some kind of confusion between tsunami and other phenomena that generated similar large waves such as storm waves. Some other people used to think that the tsunamis were tidal waves that are caused by the gravity of the moon and the sun due to the similarity in its appearance to the tides. However, the origin of tsunami differs greatly from the origin of the tides. A tsunami can be generated from different sources (Cartwright and Nakamura 152).
Submarine volcanic action is one of the sources that can generate tsunamis, yet, most of it are born when plates forming earth crust starts moving. The lighter continental plates bury the dense oceanic plates resulting in an abrupt shaking of the ground, a phenomenon known as earthquakes. Most of which are violent but despite how big or small an earthquake is, all are able of generating devastating tsunamis as long as it occurs...


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...the Term and of Scientific Understanding of the Phenomenon in Japanese and Western Culture.” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, 62.2 (Jun. 20, 2008): 151-166. JSTOR. Web. 16 Nov. 2013
Collins, Larry. "USAR Response to Japan Earthquake and Tsunamis, Part 1." Fire Engineering (2011): 85-90. ProQuest. Web. 16 Nov. 2013 .
Lomnitz, Cinna. "The Science Behind the Asian Tsunami." Harvard Asia Pacific Review (2005): 17-8. ProQuest. Web. 16 Nov. 2013
Sieh, Kerry. “Sumatran Megathrust Earthquakes: From Science to Saving Lives.” Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 364.1845 (Aug. 15, 2006): 1947-1963. Extreme Natural Hazards. Web. 16 Nov. 2013
Szala, Ginger. "A Real Tsunami's Effects." Futures (2011): 8. ProQuest. Web. 16 Nov. 2013
"What the Tsunami Wrought." The Economist (Online) 11 Mar. 2012. ProQuest. Web. 16 Nov. 2013

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