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Keywords:

  • far-field seiching;
  • Norwegian fjords;
  • film clips;
  • Tohoku earthquake;
  • numerical simulation

Early on a winter morning a few years ago, many residents of western Norway who lived or worked along the shores of the nation's fjords were startled to see the calm morning waters suddenly begin to rise and fall. Starting at around 7:15 A.M. local time and continuing for nearly 3 hours, waves up to 1.5 meters high coursed through the previously still fjord waters. The scene was captured by security cameras and by people with cell phones, reported to local media, and investigated by a local newspaper. Drawing on this footage, and using a computational model and observations from a nearby seismic station, Bondevik et al. identified the cause of the waves—the powerful magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake that hit off the coast of Japan half an hour earlier.