Excitation of back-arc tsunamis from megathrust ruptures: The underdog hazard in the Sea of Japan

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Amir Salaree, Yihe Huang 


The 2011 Tohoku earthquake created a moderate tsunami in the back-arc Sea of Japan basin. This tsunami went largely unnoticed due to its small size and the significant coverage of the large fore-arc waves. We present a physical dislocation model for the excitation of back-arc tsunamis and identify fault dip as the main geometrical contributor to the propagation of back-arc tsunamis. Using numerical simulations and data from the 2011 event, we show that a combination of near- to intermediate-field horizontal and vertical dislocations as well as transient surface waves is necessary to reconstruct the back-arc propagation. We then simulate potential future earthquakes in the Japan trench and Nankai trough to investigate the back-arc tsunami hazard in the Sea of Japan. Our results show that the coseismic excitation of back-arc tsunamis can result in considerable waves exceeding 1 m from megathrust earthquakes.




Earth Sciences, Geophysics and Seismology


Surface waves, Back-arc basin, Sea of Japan


Published: 2021-07-02 11:40


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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