Science Questions

Sun, 22nd Jan 2006

Part of the show Geology of Natural Disasters, Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Question

Richard in Colchester asked:

Why are there two or three waves in a tsunami instead of one?

Answer

It's essentially the same principle as if you get a cube of sugar and drop it in your cup of tea. It sets up a disturbance in the water surface and it doesn't reach equilibrium again immediately, so you get a lot of oscillations instead of just one. This gives you more than just one wave. They all add together.

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