There are several different causes for tsunami waves: 1) Earthquakes (obviously) 2) Direct meteorite hits 3) Avalanches (Above and under water) 4) Underwater explosions.
The worst earthquake-caused tsunami are where one continental plate moves below another. You-tube video here: http://funadvice.com/r/14ugpks5qdg This is an animation of how the large december-26th-2004 tsunami happened. But it was pretty much the same in Japan.
This, obviously, can not happen in most lakes as they are not on tectonic plate borders.
A hit from a meteorite is highly improbable.
Underwater explosions hardly ever not occur naturally. And if they do, then only in a volcanic area.
An avalanche an only happen if there is a sufficiently steep slope with instable material.
Other than that...
The north Atlantic/ iceland earthquake zone is a fracture zone - where 2 plates drift away from each other. This will not cause bad tsunamis.
The African plate moves below the Eurasian plate. This could cause tsunami in the Mediterranean area and the middle Atlantic. (One hit Portugal in 1755) But the region is not very active. Much less than California or Japan. But as the Japan-Tsunami also hit California, obviously a Portugal-Tsunami could also hit New England.
So the east coast of northern America is relatively safe.
The worst thing that could happen on the US and Canadian east coast would be a major avalanche on Teneriffa (the canary islands, Spain). There is a mountain called Teide that is in a volcanic area ad that has an instable flank towards the west. The Cumbre-Vieja volcano at La Palma (also canary islands, Spain) also has got an instable flank towards the west. If any of these mountains drops a large amount of rock into the sea, the wave would hit Americas east coast.
I saw a documentary about it once. It is possible, but if it were to happen in a lake it would most likely be due to an avalanche. Here is a video explaining how tsunamis happen together with earthquakes, so basically anywhere you have water and an earthquake the energy that the earthquake resonates will bring about a tsunami, this will vary depending on the size of the earthquake. http://funadvice.com/r/14uel9321t2
Thank you. Interesting, we never thought of one being caused by an avalanche. We were thinking more of an earthquake under a great lake (Thankfully Canada does get much for Earthquakes as we have the Canadian Shiled which is good solid rock.)
Thank you Irene for the link.
Tsunamis are caused when the two plates shift underwater (earthquake). So unless the great lake is where two plates meet, then No. You could have a large wave if there was a powerful earthquake, but not a tsunami.
I think so, there are afterall very small waves in a great lake and I would expect an earthquake that is strong enough to cause a tsunami. It probably wouldn't be as bad as the ones in the sea.
It's plausible, as long as all the conditions for a tsunami to occur are met, however, the great lakes are centred in hard and stable rock, so it's a very remote possibility.
Well probably but they're not on a plate boundary so its unlikely...even if there was a quake near one of them, I'd imagine it wouldn't be very big or do too much harm.
Thank you for your answer! Yes, thankfully Canada has the Canadian shield, which keeps us pretty darn safe. I am thankful that I live in Canada everyday!
no it wont because the lakes are not that deep and the wavelength of water waves generated in lakes is to small to form a tsunami
Thank you for your answer. My family was discussing it and none of us knew for sure. We thought it possible, but very unlikely.
Basically rock or sand storms into the lake and causes a great burst of energy (so to speak) and this causes a tsunami.
Many Thanks! We are having a great conversation here at home about it. You are fantastic for all your answers!
Wow! Thanks so much! Thats a great answer! I'm so sorry I am out of "likes" cause you really deseve one.
This explains the basics a bit better.
it is possible depends if there is an earthquake though.
Yes! It can be cause by an avalanche for one example.
Really? Huh. That's interesting.
Thank you for your answer
How does this work?
Yes I think it cud