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Tsunami also known as tidal waves are created from earthquakes which occur beneath the ocean floor. These giant waves can also be created from a large impact such as a asteroid strike in the open ocean or from volcanic eruptions. Seismic energy waves of an earthquake shake the water above setting the wave in motion. These waves can be 100's to 1,000's of mile long and are only three to four feet tall in deep open water. These waves have been recorded at speeds over 400 mph! As the tidal wave nears shore the water becomes increasingly shallow. The wave grows in height as the stored energy is compressed in ever decreasing water depth. These waves can reach heights of 100's feet to over 1,000 feet tall as they strike the beach!