Skip to main content
Log in

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

  • Published:
Journal of the Oceanographical Society of Japan Aims and scope Submit manuscript


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Aida, I. (1974): Numerical computation of a tsunami based on a fault origin model of an earthquake. J. Seismol. Soc. Japan, Ser. II,27, 141–154 (in Japanese).

    Google Scholar 

  • Akamatsu, H. (1978):Abiki Phenomenon in Nagasaki Harbour.In, 100 th Anniversary Volume of the Nagasaki Marine Observatory, ed. and published by the Nagasaki Marine Observatory, Nagasaki, pp. 154–162 (in Japanese).

  • Ishiguro, S. andA. Fujiki (1955): An analytical method for the oscillation of water in a bay or lake, using an electric network and an electronic analogue computer. J. Oceanogr. Soc. Japan,11, 191–197.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kajiura, K. (1966): Tsunami. Hydraulic Engineering Series 66-13, ed. by the Comittee on Hydraulics of the Japan Soc. Civil Engrs, JSCE, Tokyo, pp. 1–22 (in Japanese).

    Google Scholar 

  • Nakano, M. andS. Unoki (1962): On the seiches (the secondary undulations of tides) along the coasts of Japan. Records Oceanogr. Works Japan, Special No. (6), 169–214.

    Google Scholar 

  • Platzman, G. W. (1958): A numerical computation of the surge of 26 June 1954 on Lake Michigan. Geophysica,6, 407–438.

    Google Scholar 

  • Proudman, J. (1952): Dynamical Oceanography: Methuen, London, 409 pp.

  • Terada, K., Z. Yasui andS. Ishiguro (1953): On the secondary undulations in Nagasaki Harbour. The Report of the Nagasaki Marine Observatory, (4), 1–73 (in Japanese).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hibiya, T., Kajiura, K. Origin of theAbiki phenomenon (a kind of seiche) in Nagasaki Bay. Journal of the Oceanographical Society of Japan 38, 172–182 (1982).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: