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Great Lakes Fluctuations Sometimes Extreme

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Great Lakes Fluctuations Sometimes Extreme

Science

Great Lakes Fluctuations Sometimes Extreme

Great Lakes Fluctuations Sometimes Extreme

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All week, forecasters have been warning about the possibility of a phenomenon known as seiches along Lake Michigan.

They are a common occurrence on the Great Lakes — continuous oscillations that shift the water level, usually minutely. But in extreme cases, they can cause a huge water level drop-off — like in July 1995, when a seiche in Lake Superior caused the water to rise and fall in the lake by 3 feet in 15 minutes, or in June 1954, when a 10-foot seiche hit Chicago's lakefront, sweeping away eight fishermen who drowned.

Dr. Stephen Bortone, the director of Minnesota Sea Grant, part of the University of Minnesota, talks with Robert Siegel.

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