Estimating meteo-tsunami occurrences for the US east coast

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Meteorological tsunamis, also called meteo-tsunamis, are significant ocean surface waves generated by atmospheric forcing. The waves typically result from energy transfer from atmosphere to ocean through the Proudman resonance phenomena, where translation speed of the storm system in the atmosphere coincides with the free wave speed of long surface waves. These tsunami-like waves can be hazardous, either through direct inundation of shorelines or through generation of harbor oscillations and other disruptions to maritime activities. The wide continental shelf bathymetry of the United States (US) East Coast provides a long potential fetch length for the resonant generation process, making the region particularly susceptible to meteo-tsunamis. In this study, we carry out a probabilistic analysis of potential meteo-tsunami hazard on the US East Coast, extending the earlier work of Geist et al. (2014) to include a wider range of storm conditions and additional response types including coastally-trapped edge waves. The work, carried out under the auspices of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), extends the previous efforts of Geist et al. to include a representation of inundation and maritime hazards in at-risk areas. The work is conducted using the fully nonlinear Boussinesq wave model FUNWAVE-TVD (Shi et al., 2012), extended to include atmospheric pressure and wind forcing.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Coastal Engineering Conference