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What's the difference between a tidal wave and a tsunami?

  1. Ella Quirk profile image78
    Ella Quirkposted 5 years ago

    What's the difference between a tidal wave and a tsunami?

  2. point2make profile image81
    point2makeposted 5 years ago

    Only the terminology....they are one and the same.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image97
      DzyMsLizzyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, that is not true at all.  It is a mistaken notion that they are the same thing.  Calling a tsunami a tidal wave is an error.

  3. Chen Suen profile image72
    Chen Suenposted 5 years ago

    I believe this is the same thing.  In the far east in Asian countries, they use the terminology tsunami more often while the western ones use tidal wave.  It's similar to the terms hurricane and typhoon.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image97
      DzyMsLizzyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You are correct that hurricane and typhoon are used to mean the same thing in various areas of the world, but a tsunami is a tsunami.  Period.  "Tidal Waves" have only to do with the normal motion of the daily tides.  (See my full answer.)

  4. ellefeeney profile image61
    ellefeeneyposted 5 years ago

    A tsunami arises from a cataclysmic event, such as an underwater earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption. Tidal waves are a result of the daily tide cycle, which is caused by the gravitational influence of the moon and sun. The occurrence of a tidal wave is predictable and will follow ocean currents, while a tsunami can develop anywhere.

  5. Abhee mishra profile image60
    Abhee mishraposted 5 years ago

    i agree to ellefeeney

    Myth say: Any big surge of water from the oceans is called a tidal wave; the terms “Tsunami” and “Tidal Waves” mean the same and are interchangeable.

    But researchers say:

    Tidal wave may refer to a gigantic wave caused by the force of the moon and sun.

    where as tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water.

    There is also difference in wavelengths between a tsunami and a tidal wave.

    While a tsunami differs from 5 minutes to an hour, the wavelengths of a tidal wave differ from 12 to 24 hours. During a tsunami speed of waves is like hundreds of miles per hour.

    So, as tsunamis are not related to tides, it is incorrect to consider them a type of tidal waves. Although, the impact of a tsunami could be influenced by the tidal level at the time it strikes.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image97
      DzyMsLizzyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Correct--a tsunami happening at high tide, or on a plus tide will have far more reach and cause more devastation than one happening at low tide or on a minus tide...meaning only that it won't reach as far inland..not that there won't be damage.

  6. DzyMsLizzy profile image97
    DzyMsLizzyposted 5 years ago

    A tsunami is caused by a geological event.  So-called "tidal waves," are technically nothing more than the normal motion of the water and ebb and surge of the daily tide cycle.
    The gravitational pull of the moon is largely responsible for the daily tide cycle, and as its orbit shifts around the Earth, it is sometimes closer, sometimes further, and this accounts for variations we know as "plus tides" and "minus tides."

    At no time should "tidal wave" be used to describe the catastrophic event that is a tsunami.  They are not even close to the same thing, and the terms are NOT interchangable.  Using the words interchanably is a serious error.

 
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