July 26, 2013
Tsunami batters Rice Center pier
At 3:30 pm on June 13, a tsunami of 25-centimeter wave height struck the East Coast and was recorded at tide gauges from New Jersey to Puerto Rico.
A surface water elevation anomaly was detected at the VCU Rice Center pier approximately three hours later.
Tsunamis are characterized by a drop in water level preceding the wave passage. The wave itself was likely too short-lived to be detected by the Rice Center’s 15-minute sampling intervals, but a five-centimeter drop in the level of the James is apparent.
Tsunamis are usually attributed to underwater seismic activity, but this event is speculated to have been caused by the passage of the “derecho” storms, which initially pushed water away from the coast, and then resulted in “slosh-back” effect.
No damage to the pier was reported.