abstract

We report human perception of seismic waves generated on the island of Tahiti by exceptionally large T waves, following a major earthquake in the Tonga area. The generation mechanism of the T waves and their smaller amplitudes at other Pacific stations are explained in relation to source and receiver bathymetry, focal mechanism, and magnitude of the event. It is concluded that a series of favorable path conditions, rather than the size of the event (Ms = 7.8; Mw = 8.1), were responsible for the giant T waves felt at Tahiti.

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