Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 173, Issue 4, pp 1063–1077 | Cite as

Tsunami Characteristics Along the Peru–Chile Trench: Analysis of the 2015 Mw8.3 Illapel, the 2014 Mw8.2 Iquique and the 2010 Mw8.8 Maule Tsunamis in the Near-field

  • R. OmiraEmail author
  • M. A. Baptista
  • F. Lisboa
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Illapel, Chile, Earthquake on September 16th, 2015


Tsunamis occur quite frequently following large magnitude earthquakes along the Chilean coast. Most of these earthquakes occur along the Peru–Chile Trench, one of the most seismically active subduction zones of the world. This study aims to understand better the characteristics of the tsunamis triggered along the Peru–Chile Trench. We investigate the tsunamis induced by the Mw8.3 Illapel, the Mw8.2 Iquique and the Mw8.8 Maule Chilean earthquakes that happened on September 16th, 2015, April 1st, 2014 and February 27th, 2010, respectively. The study involves the relation between the co-seismic deformation and the tsunami generation, the near-field tsunami propagation, and the spectral analysis of the recorded tsunami signals in the near-field. We compare the tsunami characteristics to highlight the possible similarities between the three events and, therefore, attempt to distinguish the specific characteristics of the tsunamis occurring along the Peru–Chile Trench. We find that these three earthquakes present faults with important extensions beneath the continent which result in the generation of tsunamis with short wavelengths, relative to the fault widths involved, and with reduced initial potential energy. In addition, the presence of the Chilean continental margin, that includes the shelf of shallow bathymetry and the continental slope, constrains the tsunami propagation and the coastal impact. All these factors contribute to a concentrated local impact but can, on the other hand, reduce the far-field tsunami effects from earthquakes along Peru–Chile Trench.


Peru–Chile Trench tsunami local impact numerical modeling spectral analysis 



This work is funded by project ASTARTE - Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe, Grant 603839, 7th FP (ENV.2013.6.4-3). The authors would like to thank the colleagues from the USA National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for making available the DART stations records used in this study. We also thank J. M. Miranda for the internal review of the manuscript. We are grateful to the Editor A. Rabinovich, to E. Geist and to the anonymous reviewer for their timely and helpful reviews, which improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, IPMALisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto Dom Luiz, FCUL, University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Instituto Poltécnico de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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