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, harbors and seas. The key requirement for formation of a seiche is that the body of water be at least partially bounded, allowing the formation of the standing wave.
The term was promoted by the Swiss hydrologist François-Alphonse Forel in 1890, who was the first to make scientific observations of the effect in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The word originates in a Swiss French dialect word that means "to sway back and forth", which had apparently long been used in the region to describe oscillations in alpine lakes.People in the North America Great Lakes area, especially Lake Erie, generally familiar with seiche motion between Buffalo, New York and Toledo, Ohio after high northeast winds along Lake Erie main axis. It os interest to note Seiche can also be global between Japan and Norway fjord after the 2011 earthquake as reported in this UK Daily Mail article with an interesting long title: "How 2011 Japanese earthquake created freak 5 ft waves that terrified locals on the other side of the world -- in Norway," The report is based on the Live Science article written by Becky Oskin: Norway's Weird Waves Traced to Japan Earthquake. The remarkable research was done by Stein Bondevik, a geologist at Sogn og Fjordane University College in Sogndal, Norway and his team. The findings were published July 3 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Here's what happened that inspired the study according the the Live science article:
The roiling seas surprised and shocked Norwegians when the waves rolled in after 7 a.m. local time on March 11, said lead study author Stein Bondevik, a geologist at Sogn og Fjordane University College in Sogndal, Norway. The waves measured nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) from trough to crest (their lowest to highest point). No damage was reported, however. "Luckily, they happened at low tide," Bondevik said.
Yes, luckily, indeed, as compared to what had happened in Japan.