Speeding up tsunami forecasting to boost tsunami warning in Chile

Fuentes, Mauricio; Arriola, Sebastian; Riquelme, Sebastian; Delouis, Bertrand

Despite the occurrence of several large earthquakes during the last decade, Chile continues to have a great tsunamigenic potential. This arises as a consequence of the large amount of strain accumulated along a subduction zone that runs parallel to its long coast, and a distance from the trench to the coast of no more than 100‚ÄČkm. These conditions make it difficult to implement real-time tsunami forecasting. Chile issues local tsunami warnings based on preliminary estimations of the hypocenter location and magnitude of the seismic sources, combined with a database of pre-computed tsunami scenarios. Finite fault modeling, however, does not provide an estimation of the slip distribution before the first tsunami wave arrival, so all pre-computed tsunami scenarios assume a uniform slip distribution. We implemented a processing scheme that minimizes this time gap by assuming an elliptical slip distribution, thereby not having to wait for the more time-consuming finite fault model computations.We then solve the linear shallow water equations to obtain a rapid estimation of the run-up distribution in the near field. Our results show that, at a certain water depth, our linear method captures most of the complexity of the run-up heights in terms of shape and amplitude when compared with a fully nonlinear tsunami model. In addition, we can estimate the run-up distribution in quasi-real-time as soon as the results of seismic finite fault modeling become available.



Fuentes, Mauricio / Arriola, Sebastian / Riquelme, Sebastian / et al: Speeding up tsunami forecasting to boost tsunami warning in Chile. 2019. Copernicus Publications.


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