Sep 12

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Great Lakes Water on the Move

Lake Erie water is on the move! Listen up:

Low water on Lake Erie during a seiche (via NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory)

In the Great Lakes, changes in wind and air pressure can spawn what are called seiches.

“Imagine water in a sink or a bathtub sloshing back and forth—it bounces off one end, and then it bounces off the other, that’s what we call a seiche, it’s really that bouncing back and forth motion,” explains Joel Bernosky of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

For example, on Lake Erie, wind can move massive swells from Cleveland to Buffalo and back.

Seiches range in size and power. Most create rip currents that can put swimmers in danger. But a rare massive seiche in the 1800s swamped Buffalo and killed 88 people.

And seiches can occur in smaller bodies of water too…just like your bathtub.

Get Schooled:

Hear More:

What types of events can cause a seiche? Listen to Joel Bernosky explain:

Watch more:

Meteorologist Andy Parker explains the Lake Erie seiche (via WKBW TV Buffalo NY).

The fine print:

  • This segment was produced with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and supported by agreement with New York Sea Grant, funds provided by the Environmental Protection Fund under the authority of the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this broadcast are those of the originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of Stony Brook University or New York Sea Grant.




Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/water-and-climate-change/great-lakes-water-on-the-move/