The non-stationary rocking response of liquid storage tanks under seismic base excitations including soil interaction has been developed based on the wavelet domain random vibration theory. The ground motion has been characterized through statistical functionals of wavelet coefficients of the ground acceleration history. The tank-liquid-foundation system is modelled as a multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) system with both lateral and rocking motions of vibration of the foundation. The impulsive and convective modes of vibration of the liquid in the tank have been considered. The wavelet domain coupled dynamic equations are formulated and then solved to get the expressions of instantaneous power spectral density function (PSDF) in terms of functionals of input wavelet coefficients. The moments of the instantaneous PSDF are used to obtain the stochastic responses of the tank in the form of coefficients of hydrodynamic pressure, base shear and overturning base moment for the largest expected peak responses. Parametric variations are carried out to study the effects of various governing parameters like height of liquid in the tank, height-radius ratio of the tank, ratio of total liquid mass to mass of foundation, and shear wave velocity in the soil medium, on the responses of the tank. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.