Ogopogo isn't the only thing making waves on Okanagan Lake - InfoNews

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Ogopogo isn't the only thing making waves on Okanagan Lake

FILE PHOTO: Okanagan Lake
May 24, 2019 - 7:00 AM

KELOWNA - The Ogopogo is a popular tourist attraction and Canada's answer to the Loch Ness monster, but is it actually behind mysterious waves that roll across Okanagan Lake and prompt monster sightings?

Mathieu Bourbonnais, an assistant professor of earth, environmental, and geographic sciences at UBC Okanagan, said waves can be caused by events dozens of kilometers away. Landslides and falling debris near lakes can create ripple effects that send out waves far beyond the origin point.

"(Waves)  can propagate pretty far," he said. "(They're) just energy in the water."

Jeff Curtis, an associate professor with the department,  added that the cause of the phantom waves isn't a huge mystery. He notes that many boats produce "monster wakes," which can reverberate in the Okanagan Lake for several kilometers. A wave that appears out of nowhere could actually be the residue from a powerful motorboat.

Curtis also credited the cliffs around Okanagan Lake for causing waves. He said that when waves hit these cliffs, they are reflected and collide with incoming waves, causing a chaotic reaction that can produce even stranger waves.

"It's pandemonium," he said.


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