Hydrodynamic modeling of tsunamis from the Currituck landslide
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Tsunami generation from the Currituck landslide offshore North Carolina and propagation of waves toward the U.S. coastline are modeled based on recent geotechnical analysis of slide movement. A long and intermediate wave modeling package (COULWAVE) based on the non-linear Boussinesq equations are used to simulate the tsunami. This model includes procedures to incorporate bottom friction, wave breaking, and overland flow during runup. Potential tsunamis generated from the Currituck landslide are analyzed using four approaches: (1) tsunami wave history is calculated from several different scenarios indicated by geotechnical stability and mobility analyses; (2) a sensitivity analysis is conducted to determine the effects of both landslide failure duration during generation and bottom friction along the continental shelf during propagation; (3) wave history is calculated over a regional area to determine the propagation of energy oblique to the slide axis; and (4) a high-resolution 1D model is developed to accurately model wave breaking and the combined influence of nonlinearity and dispersion during nearshore propagation and runup. The primary source parameter that affects tsunami severity for this case study is landslide volume, with failure duration having a secondary influence. Bottom friction during propagation across the continental shelf has a strong influence on the attenuation of the tsunami during propagation. The high-resolution 1D model also indicates that the tsunami undergoes nonlinear fission prior to wave breaking, generating independent, short-period waves. Wave breaking occurs approximately 40–50 km offshore where a tsunami bore is formed that persists during runup. These analyses illustrate the complex nature of landslide tsunamis, necessitating the use of detailed landslide stability/mobility models and higher-order hydrodynamic models to determine their hazard.
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Marine Geology 264 (2009): 41-52, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2008.09.005.
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