|The Aurland-Flåm fjord in Norway, where the 2011 Japan earthquake triggered seiche waves. Leif Hauge.|
In fjords pointed northeast, the S-waves from the Japan earthquake moved the ground back and forth by 0.4 inches (1 centimeter), Bondevik, a tsunami expert, said.
"You can move a lot of water just by pushing one centimeter of ground".
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 was called on by local media to explain the source of the surge. Bondevik said he first thought an underwater landslide generated the waves. "They looked like tsunamis," he said. But as the day wore on, more reports of coastal flooding came in from faraway fjords, blowing a hole in his landslide theory.
"Later in the evening I realized there must be a connection with the big earthquake in Japan," Bondevik told LiveScience. "I was so excited I couldn't sleep that night thinking about it."