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So that's what a seiche is.
April 6, 2012 5:40 PM   Subscribe

The recent magnitude 7.4 Oaxaca, Mexico earthquake caused quite the ruckus 2,000 miles away in Devil's Hole, Death Valley. Video (The real good stuff starts around the 2:15 mark. Read about it here.). Another view of the seiche from Scientific America (Read about it here).
posted by NoMich (21 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
So awesome that it was caught on video by sheer coincidence. According to the SA article, More people have walked on the moon than have witnessed the effects of an earthquake at Devils Hole, [National Park Service's aquatic ecologist at Devils Hole Kevin] Wilson says.

We really do live on such a magnificent planet. Thanks for this.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:54 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoa, cool.
posted by Xoebe at 5:56 PM on April 6, 2012


ob1quixote, I was just thinking how great it is we live in a time where we have video cameras in our pockets.
posted by mollweide at 6:00 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are fishies in there!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:04 PM on April 6, 2012


"More people have walked on the moon than have witnessed the effects of an earthquake at Devils Hole," [National Park Service's aquatic ecologist at Devils Hole Kevin] Wilson says.

I just witnessed it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:09 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Immediately after their food and eggs were swept away by the tides, the fish responded with a frenzy of mating. Environmental disaster, it seems, acted as an aphrodisiac
posted by b1tr0t at 6:17 PM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


That was incredible. Thanks for posting!
posted by xedrik at 6:20 PM on April 6, 2012


This seems apropos.
posted by LN at 6:22 PM on April 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


So cool.
posted by brundlefly at 6:22 PM on April 6, 2012


"This type of periodic disturbance, Wilson says, is not a disaster for the fish; it resets the ecology of the pool, improving it over the long haul. Immediately after their food and eggs were swept away by the tides, the fish responded with a frenzy of mating. Environmental disaster, it seems, acted as an aphrodisiac."
posted by 445supermag at 6:34 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very cool, thanks for posting this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:42 PM on April 6, 2012


Based on what the Trembling Earth article says, I"m wondering why everyone's swimming pool in Vegas didn't slosh over it's banks 15 minutes after the earthquake, too. Or, does it happen and nobody ever really bothered to notice?
posted by Lukenlogs at 6:43 PM on April 6, 2012


Disappointed that "there goes mating for today" turned out to be about pupfish. The plot thins.
posted by eddydamascene at 7:04 PM on April 6, 2012


Every now and then when a high pressure system comes through, we will get a seiche on Lake Michigan. The high pressure pushes the water toward Michigan, and then some time later, it all sloshes back. Very dangerous because unknowing beach-goers will go out on the freshly exposed land to poke around, then get hit by the wave, and then dragged out by the undertow of the water sloshing back East.

Based on what the Trembling Earth article says, I"m wondering why everyone's swimming pool in Vegas didn't slosh over it's banks 15 minutes after the earthquake, too. Or, does it happen and nobody ever really bothered to notice?

That pool looks like it is much larger than just the hole in the ground you can see, which amplifies the effect.

Also, I think phenomena like that depend on being in the right place as far as "catching" the ground waves. If that pool had been half a wavelength away from where it is, it is possible nothing would happen.
posted by gjc at 7:15 PM on April 6, 2012


After reading the article and watching the video, I am assuming the link to the Mexico quake hadn't yet been made...so I am surprised there wasn't more "WTF is going on!??! In the video!" I mean, during that NYC tremor a few monts ago, I was definitely doing cartoon double-takes as I noticed things around me starting to sway.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 7:15 PM on April 6, 2012


> There are fishies in there!

And cute little doozers they are too! (I hope they are okay.)
posted by scruss at 8:03 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


God, that's cool.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:11 PM on April 6, 2012


Based on what the Trembling Earth article says, I"m wondering why everyone's swimming pool in Vegas didn't slosh over it's banks 15 minutes after the earthquake, too.

I watched some other videos that included dives in Devil's Hole. It appears to be an enormous crevice with a yet unexplored bottom. The result is that even a small movement in the crevice wall will produce a large displacement of water. I bet if your LV swimming pool was 400' feet it also would have sloshed around!
posted by sbutler at 8:23 PM on April 6, 2012


The Wiki article says that swimming pools are frequently affected by earthquake-induced seiches.

Very cool video and links - thanks for posting!
posted by Quietgal at 8:31 PM on April 6, 2012


"...and you can smell that sulfur coming up..."

Sure, buddy. Why not just blame it on the dog?
posted by Hoopo at 12:43 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


After reading the article and watching the video, I am assuming the link to the Mexico quake hadn't yet been made...so I am surprised there wasn't more "WTF is going on!??! In the video!" I mean, during that NYC tremor a few monts ago, I was definitely doing cartoon double-takes as I noticed things around me starting to sway.

I was in Schaumburg, IL, for that one, and in what is apparently a very bouncy building. Everyone felt and heard (creepy!) the building shake for the main shakes, but for a long time after, the aftershocks could only be felt if you were somehow connected to something that amplified it. Like leaning against a wall, or in my case, sitting in a chair and leaning on a cube-desk. If you were just standing or sitting, you just rode the wave and never felt it. I was sitting there working, and could feel the waves hitting me and the desk at different times.

(Like being on calm water. There are little swells that you barely feel. But then you try to climb onto another boat right next to you, and you quickly see that there are waves there.)
posted by gjc at 7:48 AM on April 7, 2012


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