Studylist of the Week: The Power of Water

Most often, we humans use water in ways that are beneficial to us.  We take hot showers, visit calm freshwater lakes, build water parks, and surf on the ocean’s waves.

Because water is usually our friend, sometimes we forget the incredible destructive force that it can be.  The Power of Water studylist showcases some of the more spectacular ways that water has shown its strength and wreaked havoc on human lives.


Tsunamis, also called tidal waves, are like huge walls of water that can be over 100 feet high.

They are usually caused by underwater earthquakes, which trigger a series of huge ocean waves that send surges (sudden forceful flows) of water onto land.



Floods and mudslides damaged the country’s infrastructure and left thousands of people homeless in Venezuela in late 2010.

The disasters were caused by torrential (flowing or falling fast and in great quantities) rain that the land couldn’t absorb.



Water cascaded (rushed down in big quantities) from the Morganza floodway in Louisiana after its gate was opened in an effort to lower the Mississippi River.

Allowing the water to flood the area takes pressure off the levees protecting New Orleans and Baton Rouge.



When an 8.9 magnitude earthquake shook the ocean off the coast of Japan, it set off a series of tsunami waves.

The huge waves inundated (filled or covered completely) cities and towns along 1,300 miles of coastline, causing huge amounts of damage.



Have you ever seen the awesome — and sometimes terrible — power of water in action?  Have you experienced a torrential rain or a surge of water in a hurricane?