Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Harsh K. Gupta

Seismic Seiches

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10475-7_186-1


Seismic seiche is a term first used by Kvale (1955) to discuss oscillations of lake levels in Norway and England caused by the Assam earthquake of August 15, 1950. This definition has since been generalized to apply to standing waves set up in closed, or partially closed, bodies of water including rivers, shipping channels, lakes, swimming pools, and tanks due to the passage of seismic waves from an earthquake.

The first published mention of seismic seiches is thought to be reports of those observed throughout much of Europe due to the great earthquake at Lisbon, Portugal, in 1755 (Wilson 1953; Richter 1958). In addition to the Lisbon and Assam earthquakes, seismic seiches at teleseismic distances have been observed for many other large earthquakes including the 1964 Alaska (McGarr and Vorhis 1968) and the 2002 Denali, Alaska, an earthquake that caused damaging seiches in Lake Union, Seattle, Washington, at an epicentral distance of 2400 km (Barberopoulou et al. 2004). Most...

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  1. Barberopoulou A, Qamar A, Pratt TL, Creager K, Steele WP (2004) Local amplification of seismic waves from the Denali earthquake and damaging seiches in Lake Union, Seattle, Washington. Geophys Res Lett 31:L03607.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GL018569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earthquake Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA