On the modelling of tsunami generation and tsunami inundation

F. Dias, D. Dutykh, L. O'Brien, E. Renzi, T. Stefanakis

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


While the propagation of tsunamis is well understood and well simulated by numerical models, there are still a number of unanswered questions related to the generation of tsunamis or the subsequent inundation. We review some of the basic generation mechanisms as well as their simulation. In particular, we present a simple and computationally inexpensive model that describes the seabed displacement during an underwater earthquake. This model is based on the finite fault solution for the slip distribution under some assumptions on the kinematics of the rupturing process. We also consider an unusual source for tsunami generation: the sinking of a cruise ship. Then we review some aspects of tsunami run-up. In particular, we explain why the first wave of a tsunami is sometimes less devastating than the subsequent waves. A resonance effect can boost the waves that come later. We also look at a particular feature of the 11 March 2011 tsunami in Japan-the formation of macro-scale vortices-and show that these macro-scale vortices can be captured by the nonlinear shallow water equations.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)338-355
Number of pages18
JournalProcedia IUTAM
StatePublished - 2014
Event23rd International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics: Mechanics for the World, ICTAM 2012 - Beijing, China
Duration: 19 Aug 201224 Aug 2012


  • Landslides
  • Run-up
  • Tsunami generation
  • Tsunami inundation
  • Tsunamis


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