Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

11-25-2014

DOI

10.1038/srep07143

Abstract

Two destructive high-frequency sea level oscillation events occurred on June 13th, 2013 along the U.S. East Coast. Seafloor processes can be dismissed as the sources, as no concurrent offshore earthquakes or landslides were detected. Here, we present evidence that these tsunami-like events were generated by atmospheric mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) propagating from inland to offshore. The USArray Transportable Array inland and NOAA tide gauges along the coast recorded the pressure anomalies associated with the MCSs. Once offshore, the pressure anomalies generated shallow water waves, which were amplified by the resonance between the water column and atmospheric forcing. Analysis of the tidal data reveals that these waves reflected off the continental shelf break and reached the coast, where bathymetry and coastal geometry contributed to their hazard potential. This study demonstrates that monitoring MCS pressure anomalies in the interior of the U.S. provides important observations for early warnings of MCS-generated tsunamis.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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