Tidal waves are a natural oceanic phenomenon. They are usually described as waves having monstrous heights that have the power to topple large sea vessels.
A tidal wave can be caused by a volcanic eruption, an undersea earthquake, or, at rare times, by meteoroid/ asteroid impact. These seismic activities cause vibrations that can be detected with the use of different devices and equipment, the most common of which is the seismograph.
A seismograph is a machine used to quantify and detect earthquakes, both on land and undersea. A seismograph can also detect tidal waves.
A seismograph literally means “the shakes” (seism) and “I draw” (grapho). It is also referred to as a seismometer (which means “the shakes I measure”).
Principles of the Seismograph
An inertial mass is attached to a seismometer by a spring. This spring will hold it fixed if there is not the slightest motion. The seismograph will record motion with the mass relative to its frame. With motion between the mass and the frame recorded, any underground and undersea motion from the earth can be calculated.
- Teleseismometer – This is a broadband seismograph. It is capable of recording a broad variety of frequencies. The masses which are attached to it are called “proof mass” and are held by sophisticated electrical forces bundled in what is called a “Force Balance Accelerometer”. Whenever the earth moves, the forces will attempt to steady the mass. The force deemed necessary to hold it steady will then be recorded.
- Accelerograph – The accelerograph measures the acceleration which is needed to approximate velocity and position of the impact. The data derived from an accelerograph is geared towards understanding how an earthquake will affect infrastructure. An accelerograph is also called a strong-motion seismometer. It is useful during the strongest seismic activity both on land and undersea.
Truth about Tidal Waves
It is common notion to people that tidal waves only happen on rare occasions. But the truth is tidal waves are quite common especially in the oceans.
Although seismic activities are considered to be the most common cause of tidal waves, the gravitational pull of the moon can also be factored in. Even if the moon is a million miles away in space, it has enough pull that it can actually cause water to rise as high as 40 feet.
Every time there is a tidal wave, a tide of the same height on the other side of the Earth is likewise raised.
The opposite of the tidal wave is the ebb tide. It is the sinking of the water in between the two tides (tidal waves from opposite sides of the Earth).