National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1974

Numerical simulation of tsunamis

Mader, C.L.

J. Phys. Oceanogr., 4(1), 74–82, doi: 10.1175/1520-0485(1974)004<0074:NSOT>2.0 (1974)

Two-dimensional, time-dependant, nonlinear, incompressible, viscous flow calculations of realistic models of tsunami waves interacting with continental slopes and shelves were performed. Wave heights were observed to grow by a factor of 4 as they shoaled up a 1:15 continental slope. The second or third wave often exhibited the largest wave run-up. Comparisons with shallow water, long-wave calculations showed similar results except for short wavelength tsunamis. The damping action of submerged barriers on tsunami waves was investigated. Significant amounts of the energy of a tsunami may be reflected by submerged barriers. The numerical simulation of tsunami waves can provide realistic descriptions of their flow.

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