A mathematical model is derived to describe the generation and propagation of water waves by a submarine landslide. The model consists of a depth–integrated continuity equation and momentum equations, in which the ground movement is the forcing function. These equations include full nonlinear, but weak frequency–dispersion, effects. The model is capable of describing wave propagation from relatively deep water to shallow water. Simplified models for waves generated by small seafloor displacement or creeping ground movement are also presented. A numerical algorithm is developed for the general fully nonlinear model. Comparisons are made with a boundary integral equation method model, and a deep–water limit for the depth–integrated model is determined in terms of a characteristic side length of the submarine mass. The importance of nonlinearity and frequency dispersion in the wave–generation region and on the shoreline movement is discussed.