On the possibility of seismic recording of meteotsunamis

Emile A. Okal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We use the horizontal components of land-based seismometers in the vicinity of shorelines to apply to meteotsunamis the deconvolution algorithm introduced by Okal (Pure Appl Geophys 164:325–353, 2007) in order to recover time series of tsunami amplitudes from seismic recordings. For a selected set of seven such events recorded at 16 seismic stations, we obtain equivalent wave amplitudes and horizontal polarizations, the latter expressing the directions of particle motions at the surface of the sea. Our amplitudes are generally on the same order of magnitude as available regional records or reports, and the direction of tsunami currents is found mostly parallel to the relevant shorelines. In particular, seismic records available at three Spanish stations suggest that the unexplained waves which killed twelve people in Mostaganem, Algeria in 2007, had a meteorological origin. Our results, of an exploratory nature, suggest that seismic records could play an important role in the further understanding of the structure of meteotsunamis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1147
Number of pages23
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Meteotsunamis
  • Mostaganem
  • Seismic deconvolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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