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

Jump to Last Post 1-6 of 6 discussions (9 posts)
  1. Ella Quirk profile image73
    Ella Quirkposted 6 years ago

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

  2. point2make profile image79
    point2makeposted 6 years ago

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

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image96
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 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 image70
    Chen Suenposted 6 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 image96
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 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 image58
    ellefeeneyposted 6 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 image58
    Abhee mishraposted 6 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 image96
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 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 image96
    DzyMsLizzyposted 6 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.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)