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So if a tsunami and tidal waves are two different things (Tidal Waves are created by the gravitation forces of the sun or the moon, a tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of large bodies of water.) Then, why do you say that the difference between a hurricane and tsunami is that a tsunami is a huge tidal wave in the ocean?
Question Date: 2019-09-13
Answer 1:

The terms Tidal wave and Tsunami USED to be synonymous. However, we frown upon using the term tidal wave to describe the solitary wave created when there is a sudden displacement of a large amount of water in the oceans. This is usually caused by earthquakes.

The phenomena of TIDES is related to the differential pull of the Sun and Moon on the opposite sides of the Earth and has nothing to do with earthquakes.

A hurricane is an ATMOSPHERIC disturbance that has a very low pressure. The low pressure at the surface along with the winds creates a SURGE of water.

Answer 2:

The word Tsunami comes from Japanese and entered English at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries. Before that time "tidal wave" was commonly used for any large wave. The name tsunami has gradually been catching on because it doesn't connect the waves to tides. Although a tidal wave is technically an incorrect term, like jellyfish (not made of jelly and not fish!), the name "tidal wave" is still used in at least one major dictionary for any large sea wave. I would stick with tsunami though.

Answer 3:

Hi Violet! You are correct in that tidal waves are caused by gravitational forces of the moon, and that they are different from tsunami. Sometimes tsunami are referred to as 'tidal waves'. This is a misnomer. Tsunami is a Japanese word that, literally translated, means 'harbor wave' (source: from here ). Over time, the general public began calling them 'tidal waves', the name stuck, and now it can be really confusing. It's like the game telephone - what you end up with is never quite what you started with. So, that is why the misnomer 'tidal wave' is sometimes used in lieu of the word 'tsunami' (doesn't necessarily make it okay, so good on calling out the impreciseness in wording!).

As to the difference between a hurricane and tsunami - they have two VERY different generation mechanisms, and you would experience them VERY differently if you were to encounter them out in the middle of the ocean.

Hurricanes are a weather phenomenon (tropical cyclones) which are driven by weather patterns, water temperature, global temperature, and global position (as well as a ton of other factors I'm sure I've missed). If you were to encounter a hurricane out in the middle of the ocean, you would experience very strong winds, low barometric pressures, and large wind-driven waves. Here's a website that describes more what would happen if a ship were to encounter a hurricane in the middle of the ocean: read here .

Tsunami are the result of some physical mechanism (certain types of earthquakes, some volcanic eruptions, submarine landslides) that causes the vertical displacement of a large mass of water. NASA actually has a blog post about your exact question: here . If you were to encounter a tsunami wave in the middle of the ocean, you probably wouldn't even notice it. That's because tsunami wavelengths are longer when their amplitude is smaller; as they approach land, the wavelength decreases and the amplitude of the wave increases drastically - hence the big wave. If you'd like to know more about the physics behind tsunami, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a great page with tons of useful info: read here .

I hope this has cleared up any confusion you may have had between tidal waves, tsunami, and hurricanes. Have a great day!

Answer 4:

Hurricanes are storms. They exist in the atmosphere, not in the ocean. The powerful winds of hurricanes do generate large ocean waves that can cause a great deal of damage, just like any other storm with powerful winds, only more so because hurricanes are the most powerful large storms on the planet. However, the waves are caused by the winds, and are unrelated either to tidal waves or to tsunamis.

In other words, hurricanes are even more different from tsunamis and tidal waves than tsunamis and tidal waves are from each-other (tsunamis and tidal waves are both oceanic phenomena, while hurricanes are weather).

Answer 5:

The term "tidal wave" is a rather confusing one. Literally, a tidal wave is a wave caused by tides, which is a normal occurrence. This is the first definition you referenced. The phrase "tidal wave" has also been frequently been used to refer to a tsunami, but that is something of a misnomer, as tsunamis have nothing to do with tides. The answer in the database referring to a tsunami as "a huge tidal wave in the ocean" was most likely intended to distinguish between a wave and a storm and is not actually about tides.

Answer 6:

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