Adaptive numerical modeling of tsunami wave generation and propagation with freefem++

Georges Sadaka, Denys Dutykh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A simplified nonlinear dispersive BOUSSINESQ system of the BENJAMIN–BONA–MAHONY (BBM)-type, initially derived by MITSOTAKIS (2009), is employed here in order to model the generation and propagation of surface water waves over variable bottom. The simplification consists in prolongating the so-called BOUSSINESQ approximation to bathymetry terms, as well. Using the finite element method and the FreeFem++ software, we solve this system numerically for three different complexities for the bathymetry function: a flat bottom case, a variable bottom in space, and a variable bottom both in space and in time. The last case is illustrated with the JAVA 2006 tsunami event. This article is designed to be a pedagogical paper presenting to tsunami wave community a new technology and a novel adaptivity technique, along with all source codes necessary to implement it.

Original languageBritish English
Article number351
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Co-seismic displacements
  • Domain adaptation
  • Finite elements
  • FreeFem++
  • Mesh adaptation
  • Tsunami wave
  • Tsunami wave energy
  • Unstructured meshes


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