Next Article in Journal
The Interpretation of Biogeochemical Growths on Gold Coins from the SS Central America Shipwreck: Applications for Biogeochemistry and Geoarchaeology
Next Article in Special Issue
Case Study of Dam Overtopping from Waves Generated by Landslides Impinging Perpendicular to a Reservoir’s Longitudinal Axis
Previous Article in Journal
Sources of the Measurement Error of the Impact Pressure in Sloshing Experiments
Previous Article in Special Issue
Parametric Study of Tsunamis Generated by Earthquakes and Landslides
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

The historical reconstruction of the 1755 earthquake and tsunami in downtown Lisbon, Portugal

Centre for Geographical Studies, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa, Rua Branca Edmée Marques, 1600-276 Lisboa, Portugal
Museu de Lisboa, EGEAC, Campo Grande 245, 1700-091 Lisboa, Portugal
Centro de Estudos em Arqueologia, Artes e Ciências do Património, Universidade de Coimbra, 3000-395 Coimbra, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(7), 208;
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tsunami Science and Engineering II)
PDF [15532 KB, uploaded 4 July 2019]


The historical accounts of the 1755 earthquake and tsunami in Lisbon are quite vast providing a general overview of the disaster in the city. However, the details remain unknown. Therefore, the objective of this research is to understand and reconstruct the impact of the 1755 event (earthquake, tsunami, and fire) in downtown Lisbon. Thus, the historical data has been compiled and analyzed, to complement tsunami modeling and a field survey. Although census data are not very accurate, before the disaster there were about 5500 buildings and about 26,200 residents in downtown Lisbon; after the disaster, no records of the buildings were found and there were about 6000–8800 residents. There were about 1000 deaths in the study area. The results also show that the earthquake did not cause significant damage to most of the study area, which contradicts general knowledge. After the earthquake, a fire started that quickly spread throughout the city causing most damage to property. The tsunami hit mostly the west and central parts of the study area. The numerical model results show the tsunami hit the studied area about 60 min after the earthquake, inundating the seafront streets and squares up to 200 m inland. In addition, two major waves were calculated, which are in agreement with the historical accounts. View Full-Text
Keywords: 1755 tsunami; downtown Lisbon; historical data; numerical model 1755 tsunami; downtown Lisbon; historical data; numerical model

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Santos, A.; Correia, M.; Loureiro, C.; Fernandes, P.; Marques da Costa, N. The historical reconstruction of the 1755 earthquake and tsunami in downtown Lisbon, Portugal. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 208.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. EISSN 2077-1312 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top