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Parametric Study of Tsunamis Generated by Earthquakes and Landslides

School of Engineering, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Centre for Research in Earth Sciences, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(5), 154; (registering DOI)
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tsunami Science and Engineering II)
PDF [2413 KB, uploaded 17 May 2019]


Tsunami generation and propagation mechanisms need to be clearly understood in order to inform predictive models and improve coastal community preparedness. Physical experiments, supported by mathematical models, can potentially provide valuable input data for standard predictive models of tsunami generation and propagation. A unique experimental set-up has been developed to reproduce a coupled-source tsunami generation mechanism: a two-dimensional underwater fault rupture followed by a submarine landslide. The test rig was located in a 20 m flume in the COAST laboratory at the University of Plymouth. The aim of the experiments is to provide quality data for developing a parametrisation of the initial conditions for tsunami generation processes which are triggered by a dual-source. During the test programme, the water depth and the landslide density were varied. The position of the landslide model was tracked and the free surface elevation of the water body was measured. Hence the generated wave characteristics were determined. For a coupled-source scenario, the generated wave is crest led, followed by a trough of smaller amplitude decreasing steadily as it propagates along the flume. The crest amplitude was shown to be influenced by the fault rupture displacement scale, whereas the trough was influenced by the landslide’s relative density.
Keywords: tsunami generation; submarine landslide; fault rupture; physical modelling; coupled-source tsunami generation; submarine landslide; fault rupture; physical modelling; coupled-source
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Perez del Postigo Prieto, N.; Raby, A.; Whittaker, C.; Boulton, S.J. Parametric Study of Tsunamis Generated by Earthquakes and Landslides. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 154.

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