Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 16, 1883
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3. Dr. Hector made some interesting remarks on earthquake disturbances in the ocean, referring to what he had said at the prèvious meeting, that the tidal disturbances felt on these shores about the time of the Sunda eruptions were due to their influence. The editor of the “New Zealand Journal of Science” had objected that, as the great Australian continent intervened directly between the Straits of Sunda and New Zealand, no tidal wave from that cause could have been felt here without being felt much more forcibly along the southern and western shores of Australia and Tasmania, and suggested that the disturbances felt here were probably due to other submarine movements in the Pacific. Late reports showed that the tidal disturbance was very marked on the west coast of Tasmania; and the disturbances felt here were found to coincide suggestively with the succession of earthquake shocks that followed the eruptions at Sunda. The retardation or acceleration of the tidal swell by those earthquake shocks would act and react in various directions, thereby causing disturbances of varying intensity on all the shores of these islands. An extraordinary phenomenon to which he particularly drew attention was, that atmospheric disturbances as self-registered by a delicately-adjusted barograph coincided remarkably in the sudden jerks on several days with the recorded eruptions at Sunda, beginning on the evening of the 27th August, and recurring on four or five days. These barometrical jerks and curves were exhibited by a diagram, with dates and hours given; and Dr. Hector moreover pointed out that these readings in Wellington corresponded with similar jerks in the curves recorded by a self-registering barometer at Dunedin, showing that they were produced by a fast-moving influence that traversed the atmosphere quite independently of the ordinary cyclonic movements that were in progress during the same period.