Update of the tsunami catalogue of New Caledonia using a decision table based on seismic data and marigraphic records

Roger, Jean; Pelletier, Bernard; Aucan, Jérôme

Fourteen years ago, the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami demonstrated the destructional capability of tsunamis to the entire world. Since then, many research programs have been initiated to try to understand the phenomenon and its related hazards better and to improve the early warning systems for exposed coastal populations. Pacific Islands Countries and Territories (PICTs) are especially vulnerable to tsunamis. Amongst them, New Caledonia is a French overseas territory located in the Southwest Pacific and exposed to several tsunami sources. In 2010, a catalogue of tsunamis that were visually observed or measured in New Caledonia was published. Since this first study, several events occurred between 2009 and 2019, and an update of this catalogue was necessary within the framework of a tsunami hazard assessment project in New Caledonia (TSUCAL). To complete this catalogue, a decision table has been designed to select potential tsunamigenic events within the USGS earthquake database, using criteria on the distance to New Caledonia, the magnitude and the hypocenter depth. Then a cross-comparison between these earthquakes, the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) tsunami catalogue and local tide gauge records provided 25 events that were recorded in New Caledonia for the period from 30 September 2009 to 10 January 2019. These events are added to the 12 events reported with certainty during previous studies, leading to a number of 37 tsunamis triggered by earthquakes reported or recorded in New Caledonia since 1875. Six of them have been identified only thanks to local tide gauges, supporting the fact that instrumental recording of tsunamis is paramount for tsunami hazard studies, from early warning to the validation of coastal models. In addition, unpublished tide gauge data are provided for the 1960 Chile tsunami.

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Roger, Jean / Pelletier, Bernard / Aucan, Jérôme: Update of the tsunami catalogue of New Caledonia using a decision table based on seismic data and marigraphic records. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Jean Roger et al.

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