Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert


  • Beverly N. Goodman-TchernovEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_64


Seismic sea wave; Tidal wave (erroneous)


Tsunami: Japanese “harbor wave.”

Tsunami: long-length waves in a body of water (usually large lake or sea), generated by the substantial displacement of water.


Human populations have long shown a preference for settling in coastal zones. The coastline is a meeting point between different resource zones and a doorway to efficient and economical water-based transport for trade. However, this rich and attractive location can also be vulnerable to forces of nature with gradual or rapid disastrous consequences such as sea-level change, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Tsunamis occur in a relatively short period of time. The warnings, if recognized, are rarely more than a half day in advance and more likely a matter of minutes to hours. The size of a tsunami varies greatly, ranging from waves that only slightly alter a typical day’s tide gauge record to mega-tsunamis with the potential of wave heights in the tens of meters...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Moshe Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences, Leon Charney School of Marine SciencesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael