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Tsunami hazard warning and risk prediction based on inaccurate earthquake source parameters

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2016;16(2):577-593 DOI 10.5194/nhess-16-577-2016


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Journal Title: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

ISSN: 1561-8633 (Print); 1684-9981 (Online)

Publisher: Copernicus Publications

Society/Institution: European Geosciences Union (EGU)

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering | Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Environmental sciences | Science: Geology

Country of publisher: Germany

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, XML



K. Goda (Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's School of Engineering, University of Bristol, Queen's Building, University Walk, Bristol, BS8 1TR, UK)

K. Abilova (Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PJ, UK)


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Time From Submission to Publication: 43 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This study investigates the issues related to underestimation of the earthquake source parameters in the context of tsunami early warning and tsunami risk assessment. The magnitude of a very large event may be underestimated significantly during the early stage of the disaster, resulting in the issuance of incorrect tsunami warnings. Tsunamigenic events in the Tohoku region of Japan, where the 2011 tsunami occurred, are focused on as a case study to illustrate the significance of the problems. The effects of biases in the estimated earthquake magnitude on tsunami loss are investigated using a rigorous probabilistic tsunami loss calculation tool that can be applied to a range of earthquake magnitudes by accounting for uncertainties of earthquake source parameters (e.g., geometry, mean slip, and spatial slip distribution). The quantitative tsunami loss results provide valuable insights regarding the importance of deriving accurate seismic information as well as the potential biases of the anticipated tsunami consequences. Finally, the usefulness of rigorous tsunami risk assessment is discussed in defining critical hazard scenarios based on the potential consequences due to tsunami disasters.