Advertisement

Natural Hazards

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 797–819 | Cite as

The orphan Sanriku tsunami of 1586: new evidence from coral dating on Kaua‘i

  • Rhett Butler
  • David A. Burney
  • Kenneth H. Rubin
  • David Walsh
Original Paper

Abstract

We have re-examined the historical evidence in the circum-Pacific for the origin of the 1586 orphan tsunami of Sanriku, Japan, previously attributed to a Lima, Peru, earthquake and tsunami in 1586. New evidence comes from corals found in a unique paleotsunami deposit on Kaua‘i. Dated by 230 Th- 238 U geochronology these corals determine an absolute age in high precision of a Pacific tsunami event that was previously dated to approximately the sixteenth century by 14 C methodology. Detrital corrected ages of three low thorium, well-preserved coral clasts range from 415 to 464 years old (relative to 2016), with a mean age of 444 years ±21 (\( 2\sigma_{{\bar{X}}} \)). Literature evidence for circum-Pacific paleotsunami in this time range is reviewed in light of the new high-precision dating results. Modeled and observed tsunami wave amplitudes in Japan from several Peruvian events are insufficient to match the 1586 Sanriku observation, and paleodated earthquakes from Cascadia, the Alaskan Kodiak region, and Kamchatka are incompatible with the Sanriku data in several ways. However, a mega-earthquake (M w > 9.25) in the Aleutians is consistent with the Kaua‘i evidence, Pacific Northwest observations, and the Sanriku tsunami amplitude. The Kaua‘i coral paleotsunami evidence therefore supports the origin of the 1586 Sanriku tsunami in the Aleutian Islands.

Keywords

Orphan tsunami 1586 Sanriku tsunami Kauai Makauwahi corals Tsunami modeling 230Th-234U-238U dating Kauai, Aleutian Islands, Japan, Peru, Cascadia, South America 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Denys von der Haar for assistance with the Th-U analytical chemistry and L. Neil Frazer for discussions of Bayesian methods. Kenji Satake provided helpful comments in his review. HIGP Contribution Number 2254 and SOEST Contribution Number 9994.

Data statement

We are following NSF-GEO guidelines for sample and laboratory-based analytical data. Samples and sample metadata have been registered with SESAR (geosamples.org) and will be made publicly available upon publication of the paper. Coral U-series measured and derived data will be made available through the Geochron national archive managed by IEDA (Integrated Earth Data Alliance) and assigned a dataset DOI upon publication of the paper. Geochron is the preferred archive for geochronology data but is currently being adapted to host our data (it only supports U–Pb and Ar–Ar at present). Rubin is currently funded by NSF with several others to extend the Geochron archive to include U-series age data, so this capability will be available by the end of calendar year 2017.

References

  1. Acosta J (1621) Histoire naturelle et morale des Indes, tant Orientais, qu’Occidentals etc, Paris, pp 125–126Google Scholar
  2. Allen MS, Wallace R (2007) New evidence from the east Polynesian gateway: substantive and methodological results from Aitutaki, southern Cook Islands. Radiocarbon 49:1163–1179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Askew BL, Algermissen ST (1985). Catalog of Earthquakes for South America, Hypocenter and Intensity Data, vol 5—Chile. Centro Regional de Sismologia para America del Sur, Lima, PeruGoogle Scholar
  4. Atwater BF, Musumi-Rokkaku S, Satake K, Tsuji Y, Ueda K, Yamaguchi DK (2005) The orphan tsunami of 1700. Univ. of Wash. Press, SeattleGoogle Scholar
  5. Beauval C, Hugo Y, Bakun WH, Egred J, Alvarado A, Singaucho J-C (2010) Locations and magnitudes of historical earthquakes in the Sierra of Ecuador (1587–1996). Geophys J Int 181(3):1613–1633Google Scholar
  6. Bollt R (2008) Excavations in Peva Valley, Rurutu, Austral Islands (East Polynesia). Asian Perspect 47:156–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Briggs GG, Peterson CD (1992) Neotectonics of the south-central Oregon coast as recorded by late Holocene paleosubsidence of marsh systems. Geol Soc Am Abstr Programs 24:9–10Google Scholar
  8. Bronk-Ramsey C (2009) Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51:337–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burney DA (2002) Late Quaternary chronology and stratigraphy of twelve sites on Kaua‘i. Radiocarbon 44(1):13–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burney DA, Kikuchi WKP (2006) A millennium of human activity at Makauwahi Cave, Maha‘ulepu, Kaua‘i. Hum Ecol 34:219–247. doi: 10.1007/s10745-006-9015-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burney DA, James HF, Burney LP, Olson SL, Kikuchi W, Wagner WL, Burney M, McCloskey D, Kikuchi D, Grady FV, Gage R, Nishek R (2001) Fossil evidence for a diverse biota from Kaua‘i and its transformation since human arrival. Ecol Monogr 71(4):615–641Google Scholar
  12. Butler R, Burney DA, Walsh D (2014) Paleotsunami evidence on Kaua‘i and numerical modeling of a great Aleutian tsunami. Geophys Res Lett 41(19):6795–6802. doi: 10.1002/2014GL061232 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Butler R, Frazer LN, Templeton WJ (2016) Bayesian probabilities for Mw 9.0+ earthquakes in the Aleutian Islands from a regionally scaled global rate. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 121(B5):3586–3608. doi: 10.1002/2016JB012861 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Butler R, Walsh D, Richards K (2017) Extreme tsunami inundation in Hawai‘i from Aleutian-Alaska subduction zone earthquakes. Nat Hazards 85(3):1591–1619. doi: 10.1007/s11069-016-2650-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carver G, Plafker G (2008) Paleoseismicity and neotectonics of the Aleutian subduction zone—an overview. In: Freymueller JT, Haeussler PJ, Wesson R, Ekström G (eds) Active tectonics and seismic potential of Alaska. American Geophysical Union Monograph, vol 179, pp 43–64Google Scholar
  16. Cisternas M, Atwater BF, Torrejón F, Sawai Y, Machuca G, Lagos M, Eipert A, Youlton C, Salgado I, Kamataki T, Shishikura M, Rajendran CP, Malik JK, Rizal Y, Husni M (2005) Predecessors of the giant 1960 Chile earthquake. Nature 437(7057):404–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cobb KM, Charles CD, Cheng H, Kastner M, Edwards RL (2003) U/Th-dating living and young fossil corals from the central tropical Pacific. Earth Planet Sci Lett 210:91–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Combellick RA (1991) Paleoseismicity of the Cook Inlet region, Alaska: evidence from peat stratigraphy in Turnagain and Knik Arms. Short Notes on Alaskan Geology 1993. State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Professional Report No. 112Google Scholar
  19. Combellick RA (1993) The penultimate great earthquake in south-central Alaska: evidence from a buried forest near Girdwood. Short Notes on Alaskan Geology 1993. State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Professional Report No. 113, pp 7–15Google Scholar
  20. Combellick RA (1994) Investigation of peat stratigraphy in tidal marshes along Cook Inlet, Alaska, to determine the frequency of 1964-style great earthquakes in the Anchorage region. Report of Investigations 94-7. State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological and Geophysical SurveysGoogle Scholar
  21. Combellick RA, Reger RD (1994) Sedimentological and radiocarbon-age data for tidal marshes along eastern and upper Cook Inlet, Alaska. State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Report of Investigations 94-6Google Scholar
  22. Darienzo ME (1991) Late Holocene paleoseismicity along the northern Oregon coast. Ph.D. dissertation, Portland State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  23. Darienzo ME, Peterson CD (1995) Magnitude and frequency of subduction zone earthquakes along the northern Oregon coast in the past 3000 years. Or Geol 57:3–12Google Scholar
  24. Dorbath L, Cisternas A, Dorbath C (1990) Assessment of the size of large and great historical earthquakes in Peru. Bull Seismol Soc Am 80(3):551–576Google Scholar
  25. Dura T, Cisternas M, Horton BP, Ely LL, Nelson AR, Wesson RL, Pilarczyk JE (2015) Coastal evidence for Holocene subduction-zone earthquakes and tsunamis in central Chile. Quat Sci Rev 113:93–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Easton WH, Olson EA (1976) Radiocarbon profile of Hanauma Reef, Oahu, Hawai‘i. Geol Soc Am Bull 87:711–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Edwards RL, Taylor FW, Wasserburg GJ (1988) Dating earthquakes with high-precision thorium-230 ages of very young corals. Earth Planet Sci Lett 90:371–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Edwards RL, Gallup CD, Cheng H (2003) Uranium-series dating of marine and lacustrine carbonates (in Uranium-series geochemistry). Rev Mineral Geochem 52:363–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ford MR (2014) The application of PIT tags to measure transport of detrital coral fragments on a fringing reef: Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. Coral Reefs 33:375–379. doi: 10.1007/s00338-014-1131-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ford MR, Kench PS (2012) The durability of bioclastic sediments and implications for coral reef deposit formation. Sedimentology 59:830–842. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2011.01281.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gica E, Spillane MC, Titov VV, Chamberlin CD, Newman JC (2008) Development of the forecast propagation database for NOAA’s short-term inundation forecast for tsunamis (SIFT). NOAA Technical Memorandum OAR PMEL-139, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WAGoogle Scholar
  32. Gilpin LM (1995) Holocene paleoseismicity and coastal tectonics of the Kodiak Islands, Alaska, Doctoral Dissertation, University of California, Santa CruzGoogle Scholar
  33. Goff J, Chague-Goff C, Dominey-Howes D, McAdoo BG, Cronin S, Bonte-Grapetin M, Nichol S, Horrocks M, Cisternas M, Lamarche G, Pelletier B, Jaffe B, Dudley W (2011) Paleotsunamis in the Pacific Islands. Earth-Sci Rev 107:141–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Goldfinger C, Nelson CH, Johnson JE, Morey AE, Gutiérrez-Pastor J, Karabanov E, Eriksson AT, Gràcia E, Dunhill G, Patton J et al (2012). Turbidite event history: methods and implications for Holocene paleoseismicity of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1661-FGoogle Scholar
  35. Hamilton S, Shennan I (2005a) Late Holocene relative sea-level changes and the earthquake deformation cycle around upper Cook Inlet, Alaska. Quat Sci Rev 24(12–13):1479–1498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hamilton S, Shennan I (2005b) Late Holocene great earthquakes and relative sea-level change at Kenai, southern Alaska. J Quat Sci 20(2):95–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hatori T (2005) Distribution of cumulative tsunami energy from Alaska-Aleutians to western Canada. In: Satake K (ed) Tsunamis: case studies and recent developments. Springer, Netherlands, pp 193–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hay J (1605) De Rebus Japonicis, Indicis & Peruanis Epistolae Recentiores. J. Hay, ed., AntwerpGoogle Scholar
  39. Heck NH (1947) List of seismic sea waves. Bull Seismol Soc Am 37(4):269–286Google Scholar
  40. Hutchinson I, Crowell AL (2006). Great earthquakes and tsunamis at the Alaska subduction zone: geoarchaeological evidence of recurrence and extent. NEHRP Grant 01-HQ-GR-0022 final report. United States Geological SurveyGoogle Scholar
  41. Hutchinson I, Crowell AL (2007) Recurrence and extent of great earthquakes in southern Alaska during the late Holocene from an analysis of the radiocarbon record of land-level change and village abandonment. Radiocarbon 49(3):1323–1385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hutchinson I, Guilbault JP, Clague JJ, Bobrowsky PT (2000) Tsunamis and tectonic deformation at the northern Cascadia margin: a 3000-year record from Deserted Lake, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Holocene 10(4):429–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Iida K (1984) Catalog of tsunamis in Japan and its neighboring countries. Aichi Institute of Technology, Yachigusa, Yakusa-cho, Toyota-shi, 470-03, JapanGoogle Scholar
  44. Iida K, Cox DC, Pararas-Carayannis G (1967) Preliminary catalogue of tsunamis occurring in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, University of Hawaii, No. HIG-67-10Google Scholar
  45. Kämpfer E (1727) History of Japan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  46. Krasheninnikov SP (1755) Description of the Kamchatka Land. St. Petersburg., in Russian; English translations since 1764Google Scholar
  47. Liebherr JK, Porch N (2015) Reassembling a lost lowland carabid beetle assemblage (Coleoptera) from Kauai, Hawaiian Islands. Invertebr Syst 29:191–213. doi: 10.1071/IS14047 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lomnitz C (1970) Major earthquakes and tsunamis in Chile during the period 1535 to 1955. Geol Rundsch 59:938–960. doi: 10.1007/BF02042278 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mallet R (1855) Third report of the facts of earthquake phenomena. Catalogue of recorded earthquakes from 1606 B.C. to A.D. 1850 (1606 B.C.–1755). Rept. 24th Meet. British Association for the Advancement of Science, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. Mallet R, Mallet JW (1858) The Earthquake Catalogue of the British Association with the Discussion, Curves, and Maps Etc. From the Transactions of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1852–1858, Being Third and Fourth Reports: London, Taylor & Francis, Red Lion Court, Fleet StreetGoogle Scholar
  51. McMurtry GM, Watts P, Fryer G, Smith JR, Imamura F (2004) Giant landslides, mega-tsunamis, and paleo-sea level in the Hawaiian Islands. Mar Geol 203:219–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Moernaut J, Van Daele M, Heirman K, Fontijn K, Strasser K, Pino M, Urrutia R, De Batist M (2014) Lacustrine turbidites as a tool for quantitative earthquake reconstruction: new evidence for a variable rupture mode in south-central Chile. J Geophys Res. doi: 10.1002/2013JB010738 Google Scholar
  53. Mori N, Takahashi T, Yasuda T, Yanagisawa H (2011) Survey of 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami inundation and run-up. Geophys Res Lett 38:L00G14. doi: 10.1029/2011GL049210 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Tsunami Database. https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/nndc/struts/form?t=101650&s=7&d=7. Accessed April 2017
  55. Ninomiya S (1960) Tsunami in Tohoku coast induced by earthquake in Chile; a chronological review. Tohoku Kenkyu 10:19–23 (in Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  56. Okal EA, Borrero JC, Synolakis CE (2006) Evaluation of tsunami risk from regional earthquakes at Pisco, Peru. Bull Seismol Soc Am 96(5):1634–1648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Parish W (1836) XXXIII. On the effects of the earthquake waves on the coasts of the Pacific. Lond Edinb Philos Mag J Sci 8(46):181–186Google Scholar
  58. Parish W (1838) Earthquake waves on the coast of the Pacific. Proc R Geol Soc Lond 2(N 42):214–216Google Scholar
  59. Peters R, Jaffe B, Gelfenbaum G (2007) Distribution and sedimentary characteristics of tsunami deposits along the Cascadia margin of western North America. Sed Geol 200:372–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Peterson CD, Darienzo ME (1996) Discrimination of climatic, oceanic, and tectonic mechanisms of cyclic marsh burial, Alsea Bay, Oregon. In: Assessing earthquake hazards and reducing risk in the Pacific Northwest. US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1560, pp 115–146Google Scholar
  61. Peterson CD, Darienzo ME, Burns SF, Burris WK (1993) Field trip guide to Cascadia paleoseismic evidence along the northern Oregon coast: evidence of subduction zone seismicity in the central Cascadia margin. Or Geol 55:99–114Google Scholar
  62. Pietruszka AJ, Rubin KH, Garcia MO (2001) 226 Ra–230 Th–238 U disequilibria of historical Kilauea lavas (1790–1982) and the dynamics of mantle melting within the Hawaiian plume. Earth Planet Sci Lett 186(1):15–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Pinegina TK, Bourgeois J (2001) Historical and paleo-tsunami deposits on Kamchatka, Russia: long-term chronologies and long-distance correlations. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 1:177–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pinegina TK, Bazanova LI, Melekestsev IV, Braitseva OA, Storcheus AV, Gusiakov VK (2000) Prehistorical tsunamis on the shores of Kronotsky Bay, Kamchatka, Russia: a progress report. (in Russian), Volcanology and Seismology, N2, 66–74, English edition. Volcanol Seismol 22:213–226Google Scholar
  65. Pinegina TK, Bourgeois J, Bazanova LI, Melekestsev IV, Braitseva OA (2003) A millennial-scale record of Holocene tsunamis on the Kronotskiy Bay coast, Kamchatka, Russia. Quat Res 59:36–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Ponyavin ID (1965) Tsunami waves. Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, p 110Google Scholar
  67. Rubin KH, Fletcher CH, Sherman CE (2000) Fossiliferous Lana’i deposits formed by multiple events rather than a single giant tsunami. Nature 408:657–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Satake K, Atwater BF (2007) Long-Term Perspectives on Giant Earthquakes and Tsunamis at Subduction Zones. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 35:349–374. doi: 10.1146/annurev.earth.35.031306.140302 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sawai Y, Fujii Y, Fujiwara O, Kamataki T, Komatsubara J, Okamura Y, Satake K, Shishikura M (2008) Marine incursions of the past 1500 years and evidence of tsunamis at Suijin-numa, a coastal lake facing the Japan Trench. Holocene 18(4):517–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Schlichting RB (2000) Establishing the inundation distance and overtopping height of paleotsunami from the late-Holocene geologic record at open coastal wetland sites, central Cascadia margin. M.S. thesis, Portland State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  71. Schlichting RB, Peterson C, Qualman D (1999) Establishing long inundation distances of prehistoric tsunami from siliciclastic and bio-geochemical tracers in open-coast, beach plain wetlands, central Cascadia margin, USA. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 80:520–521Google Scholar
  72. Shennan I, Long AJ, Rutherford MM, Innes JB, Green FM, Walker KJ (1998) Tidal marsh stratigraphy, sea-level change and large earthquakes—II: submergence events during the last 3500 years at Netarts Bay, Oregon, USA. Quat Sci Rev 17(4):365–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Shennan I, Bruhn R, Plafker G (2009) Multi-segment earthquakes and tsunami potential of the Aleutian megathrust. Quat Sci Rev 28:7–13. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.09.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Shennan I, Barlow N, Carver G, Davies F, Garrett E, Hocking E (2014a) Great tsunamigenic earthquakes during the past 1000 yr on the Alaska megathrust. Geology 42(8):687–690. doi: 10.1130/G35797.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Shennan I, Bruhn R, Barlow N, Good K, Hocking E (2014b) Late Holocene great earthquakes in the eastern part of the Aleutian megathrust. Quat Sci Rev 84:86–97. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.11.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sherman CE, Fletcher CH, Rubin KH, Simmons KR, Adey WH (2014) Sea-level and reef accretion history of marine isotope stage 7 and late stage 5 based on age and facies of submerged late Pleistocene reefs, Oahu, Hawai‘i. Quat Res 81:138–150. doi: 10.1016/j/yqres.2013.11.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Silgado E (1973) Historia de los sismos mas notables occurridos en el Peru (1513–1970). Geofis Panam 2(1):179–243 (English translation) Google Scholar
  78. Solov’ev SL, Go CN (1975) Catalogue of tsunamis on the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean. (dates include 1513-1968). Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Nauka Publishing House, Moscow (Canadian Translation of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences no. 5078, 1984, translation available from Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, National Research Council, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A OS2, 293 p.)Google Scholar
  79. St. Onge G, Chapron E, Mulsow S, Salas M, Viel M, Debret M, Foucher A, Mulder T, Winiarski T, Desmet M, Costa PJM, Ghaleb B, Jaouen A, Locat J (2012) Comparison of earthquake-triggered turbidites from the Saguenay (Eastern Canada) and Reloncavi (Chilean margin) Fjords: implications for paleoseismicity and sedimentology. Sed Geol 243–244:89–107. doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2011.11.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Tavera H, Bernal I (2008) The Pisco (Peru) earthquake of 15 August 2007. Seismol Res Lett 79(4):510–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Thompson WG, Spiegelman MW, Goldstein SL, Speed RC (2003) An open-system model for the U-series age determinations of fossil corals. Earth Planet Sci Lett 210:365–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tsuji Y (2013) Catalog of distant tsunamis reaching Japan from Chile and Peru. 津波工学研究報告. Tsunami Eng 30:61–68Google Scholar
  83. von Hoff KEA (1840) Naturlichen Veranderungen der Erdoberflache. Chronik der Erdbeben und Vulkanausbruche. Geschichte der durch Uberlieferungen nachgewiesenen, Theil 4Google Scholar
  84. Williams HFL, Hutchinson I, Nelson AR (2005) Multiple sources for late-Holocene tsunamis at Discovery Bay, Washington State, USA. Holocene 15(1):60–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Witter RC, Carver GA, Briggs RW, Gelfenbaum G, Koehler RD, La Selle S, Bender AM, Engelhart SE, Hemphill-Haley E, Hill TD (2015) Unusually large tsunamis frequent a currently creeping part of the Aleutian megathrust. Geophys Res Lett 43:76–84. doi: 10.1002/2015GL066083 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Zachariasen J, Sieh K, Taylor FW, Edwards RL, Hantoro WS (1999) Submergence and uplift associated with the giant 1833 Sumatran subduction earthquake: evidence from coral microatolls. J Geophys Res 104:895–919CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and PlanetologyUniversity of Hawai‘i at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.National Tropical Botanical GardenKalaheoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of Hawai‘i at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  4. 4.Pacific Tsunami Warning CenterNOAA Inouye Regional CenterHonoluluUSA

Personalised recommendations