Patrick J. Lynett, Arturo Jimenez Martinez


A numerical study aimed at probabilistically assessing the coastal hazard posed by tsunamis induced by one-dimensional submarine rigid landslides that experience translational failure is presented. The numerical model here utilized is the finite difference recreation of a linear, fully dispersive mild-slope equation model for wave generation and propagation. This recreated model has the capability to simulate submarine landslides that detach into multiple rigid pieces as failure occurs. An ad-hoc formulation describing the combined space-time coherency of the landslide is presented. Monte Carlo simulations are employed, with an emphasis on the shoreward-traveling waves, to construct probability of exceedance curves for the maximum dimensionless wave height from which wave statistics can be extracted. As inputs to the model, eight dimensionless parameters are specified both deterministically in the form of parameter spaces and probabilistically with normal distributions. Based on a sensitivity analysis, the results of this study indicate that submarine landslides with large width to thickness ratios and coherent failure behavior are most effective in generating tsunamis. Failures modes involving numerous slide pieces that fail in a very compact fashion, however, were observed to induce bigger waves than more coherent landslides. Rapid weakening in tsunami generation potential for some of the parameter combinations suggests that the hazard posed by submarine landslide tsunamis is strongly dependent on source features and local conditions and is only of concern for landslides of substantial dimensions.


landslide; tsunami; Monte Carlo; mild slope equation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9753/icce.v33.currents.15