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Seiche effects in Lake Tekapo during an Alpine Fault earthquake


This research investigates the potential for seiches ('sloshing' of water back and forward) in Lake Tekapo, triggered by shaking from a magnitude 8.2 Alpine Fault earthquake.

Modelling shows that lake water oscillation would start immediately due to the ground shaking, and amplify. Modelled wave heights reach 4m in the lake's southern arm, over 1m along the southern lakeshore at Tekapo village, and 1.5-2.5m along other parts of the lakeshore. The largest waves die down quickly in the first 5-10 minutes after the earthquake, but smaller, longer-period waves continue for longer. These waves could be dangerous for people on the lake and lakeshore.


Emergency management relevance

This research contributes to our understanding of seiche and tsunami hazards in the Mackenzie Basin lakes, specifically Lake Tekapo.


Additional information

Authors: Xiaoming Wang, Caroline Holden, William Power, Yaoru Liu and Joshu Mountjoy

Date: 2020

Funders: GNS Strategic Science Investment Fund, National Natural Science Foundation of China

Format: Published - Pure and Applied Geophysics

Reference: Wang, X., Holden, C., Power, W., Liu, Y., Mountjoy, J. (2020). Seiche Effects in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, in an Mw8.2 Alpine Fault Earthquake. Pure and Applied Geophysics