Earthquake vs. Tsunami

Difference Between Earthquake and Tsunami The earthquake and tsunami are as natural disasters of epic proportions that cause…

Difference Between Earthquake and Tsunami

The earthquake and tsunami are as natural disasters of epic proportions that cause devastation in terms of loss of lives and property every time they hit a place. These disasters are of different magnitudes every time and their intensity decides the level of destruction that occurs in their wake. There are many similarities between the earthquake and tsunamis, but there is also the difference between them. This article highlights the characteristics of both and how they are linked to each other.


The earthquake is the sudden shaking of earth that occurs when the plates which are beneath the earth’s surface change their direction or position. Abrupt slide on a fault which causes wavering of earth leading to release of seismic energy is known as earthquake The earthquake also caused by volcanic activity and other geological processes that increases pressure beneath the surface of earth. Although the earthquake can occur anywhere in the world, there are few places on earth that are more prone to earthquakes than others. Since the earthquake can occur at any time irrespective of weather ,season, day or night, it becomes difficult to predict with certainty the exact time and location.

Seismologists are scientists who study earthquakes. They collect all the information on the earthquakes that have occurred previously and then study them to calculate the chances of occurrence of an earthquake on any part of the earth.


Tsunami is a series of waves on the sea surface which are enormous and they move intensely with high speed and swallow anything that comes in it way. Tsunamis are caused by landslides and the earthquake occurring on the floor of the ocean or even below that. This displacement of the ocean floor causes the displacement of huge volumes of sea water above it. This movement takes the form of monstrous waves moving at high speed causing a lot of devastation and damage of life and property especially in coastal areas. The earthquakes under the sea do not cause any damage or destruction, but the monstrous sea waves created turn out to be disastrous in the form of tsunami for those living in coastal areas.

It is clear that the sudden movement on the ocean floor causes sea waves of huge magnitude and this is known as the tsunami. Now the movement of the ocean floor may be due to an earthquake, volcanic eruption or any landslide beneath the floor of the ocean. Whatever the reason, the large displacement of water occurs from the bed of the ocean causing huge waves on the sea surface which travel at high speed. These waves continue to increase in size all the time becoming monstrous before they hit a coastal area.

Most tsunamis are caused by the earthquake that causes oceanic plate to be pushed beneath a continental plate. This causes a huge amount of pressure followed by a minute or two of strong wavering which is sufficient for the development of huge signs tsunami.




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