The 15 August 2007 Peru Earthquake and Tsunami: Influence of the Source Characteristics on the Tsunami Heights
The tsunami caused by the 2007 Peru earthquake (Mw 8.0) provoked less damage than by the seismic shaking itself (numerous casualties due to the earthquake in the vicinity of Pisco). However, it propagated across the Pacific Ocean and small waves were observed on one tide gauge in Taiohae Bay (Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia). We invert seismological data to recover the rupture pattern in two steps. The first step uses surface waves to find a solution for the moment tensor, and the second step uses body waves to compute the slip distribution in the source area. We find the slip distribution to consist of two main slip patches in the source area. The inversion of surface waves yields a scalar moment of 8.9 1020 Nm, and body-wave inversion gives 1.4 1021 Nm. The inversion of tsunami data recorded on a single deep ocean sensor also can be used to compute a fault slip pattern (yielding a scalar moment of 1.1 1021 Nm). We then use these different sources to model the tsunami propagation across the Pacific Ocean, especially towards Nuku Hiva. While the source model taken from the body-wave inversion yields computed tsunami waves systematically too low with respect to observations (on the central Pacific Ocean DART buoy as on the Polynesian tide gauge), the source model established from the surface-wave inversion is more efficient to fit the observations, confirming that the tsunami is sensitive to the low frequency component of the source. Finally we also discuss the modeling of the late tsunami arrivals in Taiohae Bay using several friction coefficients for the sea bottom.