Research: gravitational waves cause tsunamis even far from underwater faults

On April 13, 2018, a huge wave suddenly appeared on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Moreover, next to

the resulting natural phenomenon did not have a single fault line, usually associated with huge waves. Scientists have figured out the mechanisms behind the appearance of such waves.

“We found that we can probablypredict at least a specific subset of meteotsunami that are caused by large-amplitude atmospheric gravity waves, ”said Eric Anderson, NOAA oceanographer and lead author of the paper.

Meteotsunami occur in the Great Lakes,Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean Sea. Anderson said that meteotsunami is easier to predict than normal thunderstorms, since there is only one key variable involved: atmospheric pressure, or rather, dramatic changes in it. A tsunami occurs when a sudden, abrupt change in air pressure hits water, moving it towards the shore like a rolling pin pushing dough.

When the air moves faster or slower than the water into which it enters, there is no danger - the wave dries up, and it does not have enough thrust to continue moving.

Climate change could exacerbate this phenomenon.Meteotsunami have been found on all continents except Antarctica, and a recent meeting of meteotsunami experts in Croatia laid the foundation for a better understanding of these unique phenomena in a global context.

"With current climate forecaststhe intensity of meteotsunami is unlikely to change, but the frequency, at least in the summer, is likely to increase significantly, ”Anderson said. More convective weather conditions in late spring and early summer are more likely to catalyze such wave phenomena. According to scientists, meteotsunami are no less dangerous for people than storms. Since they cause injuries to those who spend time on the beach or on small boats.

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