A tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by sudden displacements in the sea floor, landslides,
or volcanic activity. In the deep ocean, the tsunami wave may only
be a few inches high. The tsunami wave may come gently ashore or
may increase in height to become a fast moving wall of turbulent
water several meters high.
Although a tsunami cannot be prevented,
the impact of a tsunami can be mitigated through community preparedness,
timely warnings, and effective response.
NOAA has primary responsibility for
providing tsunami warnings to the Nation, and a leadership role
in tsunami observations and research.