Joseph L. Hammack, Frederic Raichlen


A linear theory is presented for waves generated by an arbitrary bed deformation {in space and time) for a two-dimensional and a three -dimensional fluid domain of uniform depth. The resulting wave profile near the source is computed for both the two and three-dimensional models for a specific class of bed deformations; experimental results are presented for the two-dimensional model. The growth of nonlinear effects during wave propagation in an ocean of uniform depth and the corresponding limitations of the linear theory are investigated. A strategy is presented for determining wave behavior at large distances from the source where linear and nonlinear effects are of equal magnitude. The strategy is based on a matching technique which employs the linear theory in its region of applicability and an equation similar to that of Korteweg and deVries (KdV) in the region where nonlinearities are equal in magnitude to frequency dispersion. Comparison of the theoretical computations with the experimental results indicates that an equation of the KdV type is the proper model of wave behavior at large distances from the source region.


tsunami; tsunami generation; tsunami propagation

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