Numerical modeling of tsunami waves generated by the flank collapse of the Cumbre Vieja Volcano (La Palma, Canary Islands): Tsunami source and near field effects

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In this work, we study waves generated by the potential collapse of the west flank of the Cumbre Vieja Volcano (CVV; La Palma, Canary Island, Spain) through numerical simulations performed in two stages: (i) the initial slide motion and resulting free surface elevation are first calculated using a 3D Navier-Stokes model; (ii) generated waves are then input into a 2D (horizontal) Boussinesq model to further simulate propagation to the nearby islands. Unlike in earlier work on CVV, besides a similar extreme slide volume scenario of 450km3, in our simulations: (i) we consider several slide scenarios featuring different volumes (i.e., 20, 40, 80km3), which partly result from a geotechnical slope stability analysis; (ii) we use a more accurate bathymetry; and (iii) an incompressible version of a multiple-fluid/material Navier-Stokes model. We find wave trains for each scenario share common features in terms of wave directivity, frequency, and time evolution, but maximum elevations near CVV significantly differ, ranging from 600 to 1200m (for increasing slide volume). Additionally, our computations show that significant energy transfer from slide to waves only lasts for a short duration (order 200s), which justifies concentrating our best modeling efforts on the early slide motion phase. The anticipated consequences of such wave trains on La Palma and other Canary Islands are assessed in detail in the paper. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans