Tsunami Measurements in Bays of Shikotan Island


Bottom pressure gauges deployed in bays of Shikotan Island (South Kuril Islands) recently recorded two tsunamis: the Simushir (Kuril Islands) tsunami of January 13, 2007 generated by a local earthquake with magnitude M w = 8.1 and the Peruvian tsunami of August 15, 2007 generated by a distant earthquake, M w = 8.0. The records enabled us to investigate the properties of these two tsunamis and to estimate the effect of the regional and nearshore topography on arriving tsunami waves. Eigen periods and spatial structure of resonant oscillations in particular bays were examined based on results of numerical modeling. Significant amplification of the fundamental (Helmholtz) resonant modes in Malokurilskaya Bay (19 min) and in Krabovaya Inlet (29 min) and some secondary modes was caused by the Simushir tsunami. The considerably different geometry and bottom topography of these bays, located on the inner coast of the island, determine the differences in their eigen periods; the only mutual peak, which was found in both basins, had a period of 5 min and was probably related to the source features. The Peruvian tsunami was clearly recorded by the bottom pressure gauge in Tserkovnaya Bay on the outer (oceanic) coast of the island. Three dominant periods in the tsunami spectrum at this bay were 60, 30 and 19 min; the latter period was found to be related to the fundamental mode of the bay, while the other two periods appear to be associated with the shelf resonant amplification of tsunami waves arriving in the region of the South Kuril Islands. The prevalence of low-frequency components in the observed tsunami spectrum is probably associated with the large extension of the initial source area and faster decay of short period waves during the long trans-oceanic tsunami propagation.

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We are grateful to our reviewers, Paul Whitmore (WC/ATWC, Palmer, AK, USA) and Isaac Fine (IOS, Sidney, BC, Canada), for their helpful comments and suggestions, and to Fred Stephenson (IOS, Sidney, BC, Canada) for editing the text. This work was supported by the Russian Foundation on Basic Research, grant 09-05-00591-a.

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Correspondence to Georgy Shevchenko.

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Shevchenko, G., Shishkin, A., Bogdanov, G. et al. Tsunami Measurements in Bays of Shikotan Island. Pure Appl. Geophys. 168, 2011–2021 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-011-0284-4

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  • Tsunami measurements
  • Kuril Islands
  • long waves
  • Eigen oscillations
  • resonant mode
  • bottom pressure gauge
  • spectral analysis
  • seiches
  • numerical modeling