Special Issue "Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Hazards".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Anawat Suppasri

International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Miyagi Prefecture 980-0845, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: tsunami numerical modeling; tsunami generation mechanism; tsunami damage field survey; tsunami vulnerability; tsunami hazard and risk evaluation; disaster prevention education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Six years after the 2011 Great East Japan tsunami, the area is over the halfway mark in terms of the reconstruction period, determined by the Japanese government, and 13 years after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which reflects many point of views in the reconstruction of the affected South and Southeast Asian countries. New findings help us to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of such large events, and suggest countermeasure to reduce the impacts of future events. Since 2016, 5 November became World Tsunami Awareness Day, as approved by the United Nations. Therefore, expectations of new findings are, not only to improve scientific understanding, but also to increase tsunami awareness around the world. For this reason, this Special Issue welcome all works from geoscience specialists, in pure and applied tsunami science, as well as engineers and sociologists working on tsunami risk reduction. The Special Issue aims to cover tsunami research globally, and all aspects of tsunami disasters, such as tsunami generation, propagation, and inundation. Examples of the prospective topics are as follow:

1) Seismic and non-seismic tsunami sources and their return periods

2) Tsunami modelling techniques and their application

3) Deterministic, probabilistic tsunami analysis and other statistical approaches

4) Tsunami hazard and risk assessment at both micro and macro scales

5) Coastal defense structures against tsunamis

6) Applications, tools, and other dissemination methods for tsunami disaster risk reduction, such as tsunami warnings, tsunami evacuations, disaster education, and urban planning.

This Special Issue will be a platform for research results of interdisciplinary research on tsunamis to reach the goal of a world that is safer from tsunamis.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anawat Suppasri
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Tsunami generation mechanism;
  • Tsunami numerical simulation;
  • Tsunami propagation and inundation;
  • Tsunami hazard and risk assessment;
  • Tsunami countermeasures;
  • Coastal defense structures;
  • Tsunami warning;
  • Tsunami evacuation;
  • Tsunami disaster education;
  • Urban planning of tsunami prone area;

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Systematic Evaluation of Different Infrastructure Systems for Tsunami Defense in Sendai City
Geosciences 2018, 8(5), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8050173
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (10542 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study is to assess the performances of different infrastructures as structural tsunami countermeasures in Sendai City, based on the lessons from the 11 March 2011, Great East Japan Tsunami, which is an example of a worst-case scenario. The tsunami [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to assess the performances of different infrastructures as structural tsunami countermeasures in Sendai City, based on the lessons from the 11 March 2011, Great East Japan Tsunami, which is an example of a worst-case scenario. The tsunami source model Ver. 1.2 proposed by Tohoku University uses 10 subfaults, determined based on the tsunami height and the run-up heights measured for all tsunami affected areas. The TUNAMI-N2 model is used to simulate 24 cases of tsunami defense in Sendai City based on a combination of 5 scenarios of structural measures, namely, a seawall (existing and new seawall), a greenbelt, an elevated road and a highway. The results of a 2D tsunami numerical analysis show a significant difference in the tsunami inundations in the areas protected by several combinations of structures. The elevated road provides the highest performance of the single schemes, whereas the highest performance of the 2-layer schemes is the combination of an existing seawall and an elevated road. For the 3-layer scenarios, the highest performance is achieved by the grouping of an existing seawall, a new seawall, and an elevated road. The combination of an existing seawall, a new seawall, a greenbelt and an elevated road is the highest performing 4-layer scenario. The Sendai City plan, with a 5-layer scenario, reduces the tsunami inundation area by 20 sq. km with existing structural conditions. We found that the combination of an existing seawall, a greenbelt, an elevated road and a highway (a 4-layer scheme) is the optimum case to protect the city against a tsunami similar to the 2011 Great East Japan Tsunami. The proposed approach can be a guideline for future tsunami protection and the evaluation of countermeasure schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Effect of Debris-Induced Damage for Constructing Tsunami Fragility Curves for Buildings
Geosciences 2018, 8(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8040117
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 31 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (26343 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Catastrophe models quantify potential losses from disasters, and are used in the insurance, disaster-risk management, and engineering industries. Tsunami fragility and vulnerability curves are key components of catastrophe models, providing probabilistic links between Tsunami Intensity Measures (TIMs), damage and loss. Building damage due [...] Read more.
Catastrophe models quantify potential losses from disasters, and are used in the insurance, disaster-risk management, and engineering industries. Tsunami fragility and vulnerability curves are key components of catastrophe models, providing probabilistic links between Tsunami Intensity Measures (TIMs), damage and loss. Building damage due to tsunamis can occur due to fluid forces or debris impact; two effects which have different implications for building damage levels and failure mechanisms. However, existing fragility functions are generally derived using all available damage data for a location, regardless of whether damage was caused by fluid or debris effects. It is therefore not clear whether the inclusion of debris-induced damage introduces bias in existing functions. Furthermore, when modelling areas likely to be affected by debris (e.g., adjacent to ports), it is not possible to account for this increased likelihood of debris-induced damage using existing functions. This paper proposes a methodology to quantify the effect that debris-induced damage has on fragility and vulnerability function derivation, and subsequent loss estimates. A building-by-building damage dataset from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami is used, together with several statistical techniques advanced in the field of fragility analysis. First, buildings are identified which are most likely to have been affected by debris from nearby ‘washed away’ buildings. Fragility functions are then derived incorporating this debris indicator parameter. The debris parameter is shown to be significant for all but the lowest damage state (“minor damage”), and functions which incorporate the debris parameter are shown to have a statistically significant better fit to the observed damage data than models which omit debris information. Finally, for a case study scenario simulated economic loss is compared for estimates from vulnerability functions which do and do not incorporate a debris term. This comparison suggests that biases in loss estimation may be introduced if not explicitly modelling debris. The proposed methodology provides a step towards allowing catastrophe models to more reliably predict the expected damage and losses in areas with increased likelihood of debris, which is of relevance for the engineering, disaster risk-reduction and insurance sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Educational Methods for Improving Children’s Awareness of Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters: Focusing on Changes in Awareness and Regional Characteristics in Japan
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020047
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
In this research, a visiting class on disaster preparedness education for higher-grade elementary school students (10–11 years old) was conducted in Wakayama prefecture, which is exposed to Nankai Trough earthquakes, and in different parts of the three prefectures whose coasts were most affected [...] Read more.
In this research, a visiting class on disaster preparedness education for higher-grade elementary school students (10–11 years old) was conducted in Wakayama prefecture, which is exposed to Nankai Trough earthquakes, and in different parts of the three prefectures whose coasts were most affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake: Fukushima (Western inland), Miyagi (North side out of the tsunami inundation area and Northern inland), and Iwate (Medium inland). Group activities with game-like elements were conducted. To examine whether this initiative improves schoolchildren’s awareness of disaster-prevention, surveys were conducted before, immediately after, and one month after the classes. Results indicate differences in awareness depending on regional characteristics of the schoolchildren’s residential area. The data obtained at each school varied according to whether the school was in a region that had experienced disaster in the recent past, or if the school was in a region where there is a recognized risk of disaster in the future. Classes in regions with recent disaster experience showed increased awareness of threats and prevention after the disaster-prevention class; however, this effect was short-lived. Increased awareness lasted longer in those schools located in regions that had not suffered from disasters in the recent past, but that are predicted to experience a major disaster in the future. We therefore infer that the “previous history of disasters” defines the key difference between regions, even when the particular school concerned was located outside the afflicted area (the coastal zone in the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami) and so not directly affected. The afflicted area was limited to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake; regions experiencing no direct damage, even if they were near damaged regions, saw an increased awareness of the threat of disasters as a result of disaster-prevention classes. Students also saw a decrease in their own confidence regarding evacuation behavior, while their expressed dependence on their families for help in evacuation situations strengthened. However, such effects were temporary. In the future, it would be desirable to develop disaster-prevention programs that consider such regional characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Assessment of Epistemic Uncertainties in Tsunami Hazard Effects on Building Risk Assessments
Geosciences 2018, 8(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8010017
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (14849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on the definition of tsunami risk, we quantitatively evaluated the annual expected tsunami loss ratio (Tsunami Risk Index) and clarified the quantitative effects of epistemic uncertainties in tsunami hazard assessments on the tsunami risk of buildings by combining probabilistic information regarding tsunami [...] Read more.
Based on the definition of tsunami risk, we quantitatively evaluated the annual expected tsunami loss ratio (Tsunami Risk Index) and clarified the quantitative effects of epistemic uncertainties in tsunami hazard assessments on the tsunami risk of buildings by combining probabilistic information regarding tsunami inundation depths at target points and tsunami fragility assessments of buildings. For the risk assessment, we targeted buildings with four different structures (reinforced concrete, steel, brick, wood) located in three different areas (Soma, Sendai, Kesennuma). In conclusion, we demonstrated that the expected tsunami risk could vary by approximately two orders of magnitude when considering tsunami hazard uncertainties between the 95th percentile and the 5th percentile. In addition, we quantitatively clarified the fact that we cannot properly understand the tsunami risk by evaluating the tsunami fragility alone. For example, the analysis results indicate that the tsunami risk of a wood building located in Kesennuma is lower than that of a reinforced concrete building located in either Soma or Sendai. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Tsunami Inundation Analysis Model for Urban Areas Using a Porous Body Model
Geosciences 2018, 8(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8010012
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 4 January 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (47289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To evaluate tsunami hazards with strong locality in urban areas, this study developed a novel tsunami inundation model based on nonlinear shallow water wave equations and a porous body model (PBM). By applying a kinematic boundary condition that includes both porosity and surface [...] Read more.
To evaluate tsunami hazards with strong locality in urban areas, this study developed a novel tsunami inundation model based on nonlinear shallow water wave equations and a porous body model (PBM). By applying a kinematic boundary condition that includes both porosity and surface permeability of the porous medium, the proposed model could accurately incorporate geometric effects such as the flow anisotropy caused by the distributions of buildings. The proposed PBM demonstrated as good accuracy for the inundation heights around buildings near the coastline as with a conventional three-dimensional simulation with high resolution. In addition, the model showed its capability to reproduce a tsunami’s essential behaviors in urban areas. In particular, the amplification effect of flow velocity along straight roads surrounded by buildings was reasonably reproduced. It can be expected that the present model can become a useful tool to accurately evaluate the tsunami risks in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Spatio-Temporal Tsunami Source Models for Reproducing Tsunami Inundation Features
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
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Abstract
A powerful tsunami triggered by the Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake struck the northern Pacific coast of Japan in 2011, destroying several coastal communities in Iwate Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, and Fukushima Prefecture. Here, we investigate a new spatio-temporal slip model (model B) developed by [...] Read more.
A powerful tsunami triggered by the Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake struck the northern Pacific coast of Japan in 2011, destroying several coastal communities in Iwate Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, and Fukushima Prefecture. Here, we investigate a new spatio-temporal slip model (model B) developed by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan. This slip model was compared against the non-uniform slip model estimated using tsunami waveform data (model A). We focused our analysis on two areas that were destroyed by the tsunami. The town of Onagawa and the coastal Sendai Plain area were selected because they were located in front of the epicentre, where the most significant slips were registered. Our simulation results revealed that the spatio-temporal slip distribution better replicated the observed data. Regarding the tsunami waveforms from the coastal tide gauge station and offshore stations, the Cabinet Office’s slip model showed an approximately 30% better accuracy relative to the non-uniform slip model. Furthermore, by comparing the local inundation features at two locations with unique topographic and coastal morphological characteristics, we also found that model B better replicated the measured inundation depths. Finally, considering that tsunami-induced damage is a direct function of various inundation features such as the flow depth and flow velocity, this new slip model can generate more realistic damage scenarios for future tsunami assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Overtopping of Coastal Structures by Tsunami Waves
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040121
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japanese tsunami protection guidelines stipulate that coastal defences should ensure that settlements are shielded from the coastal inundation that would result from Level 1 tsunami events (with return periods in the order of about 100 [...] Read more.
Following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japanese tsunami protection guidelines stipulate that coastal defences should ensure that settlements are shielded from the coastal inundation that would result from Level 1 tsunami events (with return periods in the order of about 100 years). However, the overtopping mechanism and leeward inundation heights of tsunami bores as they hit coastal structures has received little attention in the past. To ascertain this phenomenon, the authors conducted physical experiments using a dam-break mechanism, which could generate bores that overtopped different types of structures. The results indicate that it is necessary to move away from only considering the tsunami inundation height at the beach, and also consider the bore velocity as it approaches the onshore area. The authors also prepared a simple, conservative method of estimating the inundation height after a structure of a given height, provided that the incident bore velocity and height are known. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of Tsunami Evacuation Maps at Setubal Municipality, Portugal
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040116
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
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Abstract
The Setubal municipality, Portugal, has diversified land use along its coastline (mostly located in a low-lying area): on the west there are beaches; the centre is dominated by a densely populated downtown; and the east has an important industrial area. Although the seismic [...] Read more.
The Setubal municipality, Portugal, has diversified land use along its coastline (mostly located in a low-lying area): on the west there are beaches; the centre is dominated by a densely populated downtown; and the east has an important industrial area. Although the seismic activity in mainland Portugal is moderate, considering the variety of exposed elements, the objectives of this study are to present and discuss the implementation of tsunami evacuation maps at Setubal municipality. Thus, tsunami numerical modelling was carried out by considering the 1969 tsunami and the 1755 tsunami scenarios. The model results show that the first tsunami wave arrived within 30–40 min of the earthquake. The inundation depth was up to 9 m at the beaches, 4.9 m downtown, and 4.0 m in the industrial area. These velocities are too dangerous if beach users are caught by the tsunami waves, even in a moderate scenario. Therefore, coastal communities must evacuate the inundated zones to high ground before the arrival of the first tsunami wave. For this reason, tsunami evacuation maps were created, indicating the quickest and safest routes to the meeting points, located on high ground and outside of the inundation zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Flow Velocity on Tsunami Loss Estimation
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040114
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3844 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Inundation depth is commonly used as an intensity measure in tsunami fragility analysis. However, inundation depth cannot be taken as the sole representation of tsunami impact on structures, especially when structural damage is caused by hydrodynamic and debris impact forces that are mainly [...] Read more.
Inundation depth is commonly used as an intensity measure in tsunami fragility analysis. However, inundation depth cannot be taken as the sole representation of tsunami impact on structures, especially when structural damage is caused by hydrodynamic and debris impact forces that are mainly determined by flow velocity. To reflect the influence of flow velocity in addition to inundation depth in tsunami risk assessment, a tsunami loss estimation method that adopts both inundation depth and flow velocity (i.e., bivariate intensity measures) in evaluating tsunami damage is developed. To consider a wide range of possible tsunami inundation scenarios, Monte Carlo-based tsunami simulations are performed using stochastic earthquake slip distributions derived from a spectral synthesis method and probabilistic scaling relationships of earthquake source parameters. By focusing on Sendai (plain coast) and Onagawa (ria coast) in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan in a case study, the stochastic tsunami loss is evaluated by total economic loss and its spatial distribution at different scales. The results indicate that tsunami loss prediction is highly sensitive to modelling resolution and inclusion of flow velocity for buildings located less than 1 km from the sea for Sendai and Onagawa of Miyagi Prefecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Possible Factors Promoting Car Evacuation in the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami Revealed by Analysing a Large-Scale Questionnaire Survey in Kesennuma City
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040112
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Excessive car evacuation can cause severe traffic jams that can lead to large numbers of casualties during tsunami disasters. Investigating the possible factors that lead to unnecessary car evacuation can ensure smoother tsunami evacuations and mitigate casualty damages in future tsunami events. In [...] Read more.
Excessive car evacuation can cause severe traffic jams that can lead to large numbers of casualties during tsunami disasters. Investigating the possible factors that lead to unnecessary car evacuation can ensure smoother tsunami evacuations and mitigate casualty damages in future tsunami events. In this study, we quantitatively investigated the possible factors that promote car evacuation, including both necessary and unnecessary usages, by statistically analysing a large amount of data on actual tsunami evacuation behaviours surveyed in Kesennuma, where devastating damage occurred during the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami. A straightforward statistical analysis revealed a high percentage of car evacuations (approx. 50%); however, this fraction includes a high number of unnecessary usage events that were distinguished based on mode choice reasons. In addition, a binary logistic regression was conducted to quantitatively evaluate the effects of several factors and to identify the dominant factor that affected evacuation mode choice. The regression results suggested that the evacuation distance was the dominant factor for choosing car evacuation relative to other factors, such as age and sex. The cross-validation test of the regression model demonstrated that the considered factors were useful for decision making and the prediction of evacuation mode choice in the target area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation of Debris-Induced Loading in Tsunami-Like Flood Events
Geosciences 2017, 7(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7030074
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (7462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Debris loads during flood events have been well-documented by forensic engineering field surveys of affected communities. Research has primarily focused on debris impact loading and less emphasis has been placed into quantifying the loads and effects associated with debris damming, which occurs when [...] Read more.
Debris loads during flood events have been well-documented by forensic engineering field surveys of affected communities. Research has primarily focused on debris impact loading and less emphasis has been placed into quantifying the loads and effects associated with debris damming, which occurs when solid objects accumulate at the front of structures. The formation of the debris dam has been shown to results in increased drag forces, backwater rise, and flow accelerations which can influence the stability of the structure. This study examined the formation of a debris dam in steady-state conditions of debris common to flood-prone communities. The study determined that the hydraulic conditions, in particular flow velocity, influenced the formation of the debris dam. Additionally, the study examined the influence of the blockage ratio on the backwater rise as well as the drag coefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Geosciences Perspectives of Tsunami)
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