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Megatsunamis have quite different features from other, more usual types of [[tsunami]]s. Most tsunamis are caused by underwater [[plate tectonics|tectonic activity]] (movement of the earth's plates) and therefore occur along plate boundaries and as a result of [[earthquake]] and rise or fall in the [[seabed|sea floor]], causing water to be displaced. Ordinary tsunamis have shallow waves out at sea, and the water piles up to a [[wave height]] of up to about 10 metres (33 feet) as the sea floor becomes shallow near land. By contrast, megatsunamis occur when a very large amount of material [[rockfall|suddenly falls into water]] or anywhere near water (such as via a [[meteor impact]]), or are caused by volcanic activity. They can have extremely high initial wave heights of hundreds and possibly thousands of metres, far beyond any ordinary tsunami, as the water is "splashed" upwards and outwards by the impact or displacement. As a result, two heights are sometimes quoted for megatsunamis – the height of the wave itself (in water), and the height to which it surges when it reaches land, which depending upon the locale, can be several times larger.
 
Megatsunamis have quite different features from other, more usual types of [[tsunami]]s. Most tsunamis are caused by underwater [[plate tectonics|tectonic activity]] (movement of the earth's plates) and therefore occur along plate boundaries and as a result of [[earthquake]] and rise or fall in the [[seabed|sea floor]], causing water to be displaced. Ordinary tsunamis have shallow waves out at sea, and the water piles up to a [[wave height]] of up to about 10 metres (33 feet) as the sea floor becomes shallow near land. By contrast, megatsunamis occur when a very large amount of material [[rockfall|suddenly falls into water]] or anywhere near water (such as via a [[meteor impact]]), or are caused by volcanic activity. They can have extremely high initial wave heights of hundreds and possibly thousands of metres, far beyond any ordinary tsunami, as the water is "splashed" upwards and outwards by the impact or displacement. As a result, two heights are sometimes quoted for megatsunamis – the height of the wave itself (in water), and the height to which it surges when it reaches land, which depending upon the locale, can be several times larger.
  
Modern megatsunamis include the one associated with the [[1883 eruption of Krakatoa#Tsunamis and distant effects|1883 eruption of Krakatoa]] ([[volcanic eruption]]), the [[1958 Lituya Bay megatsunami]] ([[landslide]] into a bay), and the wave resulting from the [[Vajont Dam]] landslide (caused by human activity destabilizing sides of valley). Prehistoric examples include the [[Storegga Slide]] (landslide), and the [[Chicxulub crater|Chicxulub]], [[Chesapeake Bay impact crater|Chesapeake Bay]] and [[Eltanin impact|Eltanin]] meteor impacts.
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Modern megatsunamis include the one associated with the [[1883 eruption of Krakatoa#Tsunamis and distant effects|1883 eruption of Krakatoa]] ([[volcanic eruption]]), the [[Wikipedia:1958 Lituya Bay megatsunami|1958 Lituya Bay megatsunami]] ([[landslide]] into a bay), and the wave resulting from the [[Vajont Dam]] landslide (caused by human activity destabilizing sides of valley). Prehistoric examples include the [[Storegga Slide]] (landslide), and the [[Chicxulub crater|Chicxulub]], [[Chesapeake Bay impact crater|Chesapeake Bay]] and [[Eltanin impact|Eltanin]] meteor impacts.
  
 
The idea of a present day megatsunami in the Atlantic was popularized in a BBC television documentary broadcast in 2000, <ref>[http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2000/mega_tsunami_transcript.shtml ''Mega-tsunami: Wave of Destruction'']. Transcript. BBC Two television programme, first broadcast 12 October 2000</ref>  This research, however, was later found to be flawed.<ref name=MegatsunamiStudyFlawed/>. There have been megatsunamis in the past in the Canary Islands,<ref name=PastCanaryIslesMegatsunami/> and future megatsunamis are possible there, but the current geological consensus is that these are only local and would diminish to a normal tsunami by the time it reached the continents.<ref name=LaPalmaMegatsunamipropagation/> Also, the current consensus for La Palma is that the region conjectured to collapse is too small and too geologically stable to do so in the next 10,000 years. Similar remarks apply to the suggestion of a megatsunami in Hawaii.<ref name=NationalGeographicNoMegatsunami/>. See [[#Potential future megatsunamis]].
 
The idea of a present day megatsunami in the Atlantic was popularized in a BBC television documentary broadcast in 2000, <ref>[http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2000/mega_tsunami_transcript.shtml ''Mega-tsunami: Wave of Destruction'']. Transcript. BBC Two television programme, first broadcast 12 October 2000</ref>  This research, however, was later found to be flawed.<ref name=MegatsunamiStudyFlawed/>. There have been megatsunamis in the past in the Canary Islands,<ref name=PastCanaryIslesMegatsunami/> and future megatsunamis are possible there, but the current geological consensus is that these are only local and would diminish to a normal tsunami by the time it reached the continents.<ref name=LaPalmaMegatsunamipropagation/> Also, the current consensus for La Palma is that the region conjectured to collapse is too small and too geologically stable to do so in the next 10,000 years. Similar remarks apply to the suggestion of a megatsunami in Hawaii.<ref name=NationalGeographicNoMegatsunami/>. See [[#Potential future megatsunamis]].

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