Experts to discuss tsunami warning system for Great Lakes

Holland

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Experts are meeting in Ann Arbor this week to discuss a tsunami warning system for the Great Lakes.

Scientists say tsunamis happen on the lakes, although many are too small to notice. In fact, the lakes average 106 such events a year.

In the oceans, tsunamis are caused by earthquakes. Great Lakes tsunamis result from rapid changes in barometric pressure associated with fast-moving weather systems. Scientists call them “meteotsunamis.” In some cases, people standing on piers or swimming along shorelines have been swept to their deaths.

Meteotsunamis also can cause sudden drops in water levels that endanger nuclear power plants’ cooling systems.

The University of Michigan’s Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research is hosting a meeting from Monday through Wednesday where experts will consider a system for warning the public.

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4 comments

  • Woman

    Tsunami: A large wave on the ocean, usually caused by an undersea earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or coastal landslide. A tsunami can travel hundreds of miles over the open sea and cause extensive damage when it encounters land. Also called tidal waves. On the Great Lakes they are called a Seiche.
    A seiche (/ˈseɪʃ/ SAYSH) is a standing wave in an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water. Seiches and seiche-related phenomena have been observed on lakes, reservoirs, swimming pools, bays, harbours and seas.
    You may wish to re-title the article.

  • Old Bob

    I saw a Great Lakes tsunamis at the dog park in downtown Chicago in 2013. The water dropped five feet in less than a minute then gradually came back. I got the dogs right out of the water. There were lots of people struggling to get out of the water. No one was hurt, but there sure was a potential for a disaster.