Role of soil behavior on the initial kinematics of tsunamigenic slides

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Recent investigations on tsunami generation from submarine mass failures show that one of the most important factors influencing the source characteristics of the wave is the initial acceleration of the failure itself. In a number of these studies, a translational slide is modeled as a rigid body sliding down an inclined plane and basal resistance is neglected. In this paper, a similar rigid body model is proposed that incorporates basal resistance, which is related to the shear strength of the soil. Initial slide kinematics were investigated under two triggering mechanisms including overpressures at depth and rapid sedimentation. The model results show that soil behavior significantly influences the acceleration time history as well as the magnitude of the peak acceleration. The slide kinematics depend largely on the initial stress state and on the undrained residual shear strength of the soil along a potential failure surface, which highlights the importance of performing detailed geotechnical site investigations when assessing these geohazards. More research is needed to determine the influence of using more realistic basal friction models on the initial wave heights generated by submarine mass failures.

Publication Title

Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences, 3rd International Symposium