, Volume 144, Issue 3-4, pp 455-470

Linear and nonlinear computations of the 1992 Nicaragua earthquake tsunami

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Numerical computations of tsunamis are made for the 1992 Nicaragua earthquake using different governing equations, bottom frictional values and bathymetry data. The results are compared with each other as well as with the observations, both tide gauge records and runup heights. Comparison of the observed and computed tsunami waveforms indicates that the use of detailed bathymetry data with a small grid size is more effective than to include nonlinear terms in tsunami computation. Linear computation overestimates the amplitude for the later phase than the first arrival, particularly when the amplitude becomes large. The computed amplitudes along the coast from nonlinear computation are much smaller than the observed tsunami runup heights; the average ratio, or the amplification factor, is estimated to be 3 in the present case when the grid size of 1 minute is used. The factor however may depend on the grid size for the computation.