Underground Tsunami Witnessed at Nevada’s Devil’s Hole

At team visiting Nevada’s Devil’s Hole recently were lucky enough to witness an underground tsunami.

On March 20th, while monitoring the population of endangered pupfish that call the collapsed cave home, the team noticed water level begin rising and sinking. It began first with quarter-inches fluctuations, then inches, then feet. By the time they made it out of the 9 meter (30 foot) deep hole, the pool was almost completely sucked out of the hole. After a few more cycles of filling and emptying, the pool of water returned to a normal level.

Underwater Tsunami in Nevada's Devils Hole

Screengrab’s via Scientific American

It was later discovered that the cause was an underground tsunami that had resulted from a 7.4 magnitude earthquake 19 kilometers (12 miles) deep and 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) away in southern Mexico.

This is only the third time that tidal effects of earthquakes have been observed at Devil’s Hole since it received protection in 1976.

Extra exciting is that the folks were able to take a video of the underground tsunami with their pocket-size video cameras, so anyone can experience the rare occurrence.

Pupfish, Downfish: Subterranean Tsunami Gives Vertical Shakes to the Water-Hole Home of Endangered Fishes [Scientific American via reader Ken Dejonge]

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