Stephan T. Grilli, Jeffrey C. Harris, Fengyan Shi, James T. Kirby, Tayebeh S. Tajalli Bakhsh, Elise Estibals, Babak Tehranirad


Recent observations of the coastal impact of large tsunamis (e.g., Indian Ocean 2004; Tohoku 2011) and related numerical and theoretical works have made it increasingly clear that tsunami waves arrive nearshore as a series of long waves (so-called N-waves) with, often, the superposition of undular bores around each crest. Such wave trains are much more complex and very much in contrast with the solitary wave paradigm which for a long time was the accepted idealization of tsunami waves in both experimental and numerical work. The dissipation associated with these breaking bores can be very large, particularly over a wide and shallow continental shelf such as along the east coast of North America, particularly for the shorter waves associated with tsunamis generated by Submarine Mass Failures (SMFs). In this paper, we perform numerical simulations of tsunami coastal impact in the context of both idealized laboratory experiments and several tsunami case studies. We attempt to clarify the key physical processes at play in such cases, and discuss the parameterization of long wave dissipation and implications for models of coastal tsunami hazard assessment.


tsunami modeling; coastal tsunami hazard; submarine mass failure; wave breaking; undular bore

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