Tsunami Study Challenges Long-held Formation Theory

  • Released Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:47PM

A new NASA study is challenging a long-held theory on how tsunamis form and offering a new method for forecasting the powerful waves.

Most tsunamis result from a massive shifting of the seafloor -- usually from the subduction, or sliding, of one tectonic plate under another during an earthquake.

Using a large wave tank, researchers simulated horizontal land displacements and found that it can contribute significantly to the strength of some tsunamis.



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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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