Influence of sedimentary layering on tsunami generation

Denys Dutykh, Frédéric Dias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The present article is devoted to the influence of sediment layers on the process of tsunami generation. The main scope here is to demonstrate and especially quantify the effect of sedimentation on vertical displacements of the seabed due to an underwater earthquake. The fault is modelled as a Volterra-type dislocation in an elastic half-space. The elastodynamics equations are integrated with a finite element method. A comparison between two cases is performed. The first one corresponds to the classical situation of an elastic homogeneous and isotropic half-space, which is traditionally used for the generation of tsunamis. The second test case takes into account the presence of a sediment layer separating the oceanic column from the hard rock. Some important differences are revealed. We conjecture that deformations in the generation region may be amplified by sedimentary deposits, at least for some parameter values. The mechanism of amplification is studied through careful numerical simulations.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1268-1275
Number of pages8
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number21-22
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Dislocations
  • Fault modelling
  • Sediments
  • Tsunami generation


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