Oceanography The Official Magazine of
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Volume 27 Issue 02

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Volume 27, No. 2
Pages 86 - 93


Source Processes for the Probabilistic Assessment of Tsunami Hazards

By Eric L. Geist  and Patrick J. Lynett  
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Article Abstract

The importance of tsunami hazard assessment has increased in recent years as a result of catastrophic consequences from events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Japan tsunamis. In particular, probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment (PTHA) methods have been emphasized to include all possible ways a tsunami could be generated. Owing to the scarcity of tsunami observations, a computational approach is used to define the hazard. This approach includes all relevant sources that may cause a tsunami to impact a site and all quantifiable uncertainty. Although only earthquakes were initially considered for PTHA, recent efforts have also attempted to include landslide tsunami sources. Including these sources into PTHA is considerably more difficult because of a general lack of information on relating landslide area and volume to mean return period. The large variety of failure types and rheologies associated with submarine landslides translates to considerable uncertainty in determining the efficiency of tsunami generation. Resolution of these and several other outstanding problems are described that will further advance PTHA methodologies leading to a more accurate understanding of tsunami hazard.


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