The Mw7.9 Denali, Alaska earthquake of 3 November, 2002, caused minor damage to at least 20 houseboats in Seattle, Washington by initiating water waves in Lake Union. These water waves were likely initiated during the large amplitude seismic surface waves from this earthquake. Maps of spectral amplification recorded during the Denali earthquake on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) strong-motion instruments show substantially increased shear and surface wave amplitudes coincident with the Seattle sedimentary basin. Because Lake Union is situated on the Seattle basin, the size of the water waves may have been increased by local amplification of the seismic waves by the basin. Complete hazard assessments require understanding the causes of these water waves during future earthquakes. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Local amplification of seismic waves from the Denali earthquake and damaging seiches in Lake Union, Seattle, Washington