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Tsunamis are gigantic waves that happen because of major events in the ocean. These events displace large amounts of water, which rush across the ocean at the speed of a jet, breaking on the shore. These waves can reach heights of up to 100 feet (30.48 m) before reaching the shore, due to their speed.

Tsunamis can be caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, detonations, landslides, glacier calvings (the breaking apart of ice from glaciers), meteorite impacts, or other disturbances.

Tsunamis are also different from other waves because of their wavelength. Rouge waves can reach nearly the same height as a tsunami, but no waves compare with their wavelength, which it is how far apart two adjacent wave crests are. In a tsunami, the wavelength is between 300 and 600 feet.

Since a tsunami resembles a rapidly incoming tide, people often use the term tidal wave for a tsunami, although that is not an accurate title because it is caused by a major event not the tide, so a more appropriate name would be a seismic wave.

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