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09-Aug-2017 09:24

More recently, tsunami continue to be recorded in Australia with most presenting little threat to coastal communities.

The significant tsunamis recorded in recent times have all been recorded at tide gauges around the country with some causing damage in the marine environment.

Several significant tsunami have impacted Australia's north west coast region.

The largest run-up (measured as elevation about sea level) was recorded as 7.9m (Australian Height Datum (AHD)) at Steep Point in Western Australia from the July 2006 Java tsunami. DOI: 10.1177/0309133314522282 Geoscience Australia receives real-time data from over 60 seismic stations in Australia and more than 130 international seismic stations.

There is evidence that the Australian coast may have experienced large tsunami during the past few thousand years.

This evidence is revealed through anomalous sedimentary deposits (such as those containing shell or coral) or other geomorphic features (Dominey Howes, 2007; Goff and Chauge-Goff, 2014).

Tsunami (pron: 'soo-nar-me') is a Japanese word: 'tsu' meaning harbour and 'nami' meaning wave.

Tsunami are waves caused by sudden movement of the ocean surface due to earthquakes, landslides on the sea floor, land slumping into the ocean, large volcanic eruptions or meteorite impact in the ocean.

Most tsunami do not cause such extreme coastal inundation and the effect of small events may not be noticeable to without careful analysis of tide gauge measurements.Until recently, tsunami were called tidal waves, but this term is generally discouraged because tsunami generation has nothing to do with tides (which are driven by the gravity of the Earth, Moon and Sun).Although some tsunami may appear like a rapidly rising or falling tide at the coast, in other situations they can also feature one or more turbulent breaking waves.Because the total energy within the wave does not change, the energy is transferred to increasing the wave height (or amplitude). A tsunami is often a series of waves and the first may not necessarily have the greatest amplitude.

In the open ocean, even the largest tsunami are relatively small, with wave heights typically tens of centimetres or less away from the initial tsunami generation zone.Interestingly, this causes the speed of a tsunami to be controlled by the water depth, with faster speeds in deeper water, unlike wind-generated waves.