Origin of theAbiki phenomenon (a kind of seiche) in Nagasaki Bay

  • Toshiyuki Hibiya
  • Kinjiro Kajiura


Large oscillations of water level in Nagasaki Bay are calledAbiki and are most frequently observed in winter. The largestAbiki recorded in the past 20 years at the tide station at Nagasaki occurred on March 31, 1979. Simultaneously, a distinct atmospheric pressure disturbance of solitary type with an amplitude of about 3 mb was recorded at several neighbouring stations in Kyûshû, which indicated the pressure disturbance probably travelled eastward with an average speed of about 110 km h−1.

The quantitative relation between this pressure disturbance and notable seiches observed in Nagasaki Bay is examined by means of numerical simulation, and it is confirmed that the exceptionally large range of oscillations in the bay, which reached 278 cm at the tide station, was indeed produced by this travelling pressure disturbance.

The leading part of shallow water waves induced by the atmospheric pressure disturbance was amplified up to about 10 cm in amplitude, over the broad continental shelf region off China, because of near resonant coupling to the pressure disturbance. After leaving this continental shelf region, the amplified water wave converged into the shelf region (Gotô Nada) surrounded by the north-western coast of Kyûshû and the Gotô Islands and excited eigenoscillations on the shelf. A train of waves thus formed with a period of about 35 min entered Nagasaki Bay and was resonantly amplified at periods of 36 min and 23 min which are the eigen periods of the bay. Besides resonance, the combined effects of shoaling and reflection inside Nagasaki Bay also enhanced the amplification.


Water Level Shallow Water Large Range Continental Shelf Quantitative Relation 
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Copyright information

© Oceanographical Society of Japan 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiyuki Hibiya
    • 1
  • Kinjiro Kajiura
    • 1
  1. 1.Earthquake Research InstituteUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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