have been reported since ancient times. They have
been documented extensively especially in Japan because
it is precariously situated near the colliding margins
of four tectonic plates, also they are very frequent
in the Mediterranean areas and along the west coast
of South America, especially in Peru and Chile, that
are one of the most tsunami-prone coasts in the world.
About four out five tsunamis happen within the "ring
of fire," because of the great size
of the Pacific Ocean - the world's largest ocean,
covering more than one third of the total surface
area of our planet -and the large earthquakes associated
with the "ring of fire" combine to produce
The only regions that have generated remote-source
tsunamis affecting the entire Pacific Basin are the
Kamchatka Peninsula, the Aleutian Islands, the Gulf
of Alaska, and the coast of South America. Hawaii,
because of its location in the center of the Pacific
Basin, has experienced tsunamis generated in all parts
of the Pacific.
The Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas both have small
subduction zones, and have histories of locally destructive
tsunamis. Only a few tsunamis have been generated
in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In the Atlantic
Ocean, there are no subduction zones at the edges
of plate boundaries to spawn such waves except small
zones under the Caribbean and Scotia arcs.
Most tsunamis generated in the Indian Ocean area are
propagated toward the southwest shores of Java and
Sumatra because the Indo-Australian plate is being
subducted beneath the Eurasian plate at its east margin.
major tsunamis around the world