Tsunami generation by submarine mass failure. II: Predictive equations and case studies

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Based on numerical simulations presented in Part I, we derive predictive empirical equations describing tsunami generation by submarine mass failure (SMF) that are only valid in the vicinity of the tsunami sources. We give equations for slides and slumps, along with some cautions about their appropriate use. We further discuss results obtained here and in Part I and their practical application to case studies. We show that initial acceleration is the primary parameter describing SMF center of mass motion during tsunami generation. We explain an apparent paradox, raised in Part I, in slump center of mass motion, whereby the distance traveled is proportional to shear strength along the failure plane. We stress that the usefulness of predictive equations depends on the quality of the parameters they rely on. Parameter ranges are discussed in the paper, and we propose a method to estimate slump motion and shear strength and discuss SMF thickness to length values, for case studies. We derive the analytical tools needed to characterize SMF tsunami sources in propagation models. Specifically, we quantify three-dimensional (3D) effects on tsunami characteristic amplitude, and we propose an analytical method to specify initial 3D tsunami elevations, shortly after tsunami generation, in long wave tsunami propagation models. This corresponds to treating SMF tsunami sources like coseismic displacement tsunami sources. We conduct four case studies of SMF tsunamis and show that our predictive equations can provide rapid rough estimates of overall tsunami observations that might be useful in crisis situations, when time is too short to run propagation models. Thus, for each case, we show that the characteristic tsunami amplitude is a reasonable predictor of maximum runup in actual 3D geometry. We refer to the latter observation as the correspondence principle, which we propose to apply for rapid tsunami hazard assessment, in combination with the predictive tsunami amplitude equations. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering © ASCE.

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Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering