Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 170, Issue 3, pp 433–451 | Cite as

Tsunami Modeling to Validate Slip Models of the 2007 M w 8.0 Pisco Earthquake, Central Peru

  • M. IoualalenEmail author
  • H. Perfettini
  • S. Yauri Condo
  • C. Jimenez
  • H. Tavera


Following the 2007, August 15th, M w 8.0, Pisco earthquake in central Peru, Sladen et al. (J Geophys Res 115: B02405, 2010) have derived several slip models of this event. They inverted teleseismic data together with geodetic (InSAR) measurements to look for the co-seismic slip distribution on the fault plane, considering those data sets separately or jointly. But how close to the real slip distribution are those inverted slip models? To answer this crucial question, the authors generated some tsunami records based on their slip models and compared them to DART buoys, tsunami records, and available runup data. Such an approach requires a robust and accurate tsunami model (non-linear, dispersive, accurate bathymetry and topography, etc.) otherwise the differences between the data and the model may be attributed to the slip models themselves, though they arise from an incomplete tsunami simulation. The accuracy of a numerical tsunami simulation strongly depends, among others, on two important constraints: (i) A fine computational grid (and thus the bathymetry and topography data sets used) which is not always available, unfortunately, and (ii) a realistic tsunami propagation model including dispersion. Here, we extend Sladen’s work using newly available data, namely a tide gauge record at Callao (Lima harbor) and the Chilean DART buoy record, while considering a complete set of runup data along with a more realistic tsunami numerical that accounts for dispersion, and also considering a fine-resolution computational grid, which is essential. Through these accurate numerical simulations we infer that the InSAR-based model is in better agreement with the tsunami data, studying the case of the Pisco earthquake indicating that geodetic data seems essential to recover the final co-seismic slip distribution on the rupture plane. Slip models based on teleseismic data are unable to describe the observed tsunami, suggesting that a significant amount of co-seismic slip may have been aseismic. Finally, we compute the runup distribution along the central part of the Peruvian coast to better understand the wave amplification/attenuation processes of the tsunami generated by the Pisco earthquake.


Tsunami Pisco Peru earthquake inSAR teleseismic 



The authors are grateful to A. Sladen for providing the earthquake slip models used in this study and J.-P. Avouac, G. Hérail, M. Chlieh, B. Guillier and J.-X. Dessa for useful discussions. We wish to acknowledge two anonymous reviewers who, through their suggestions, have contributed to a substantial improvement of the first draft manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ioualalen
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Perfettini
    • 2
  • S. Yauri Condo
    • 3
  • C. Jimenez
    • 4
  • H. Tavera
    • 3
  1. 1.Géoazur, Université de Nice Sophia AntipolisInstitut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Observatoire de la Côte d’AzurVillefranche-sur-mer CedexFrance
  2. 2.LGIT, Université Joseph Fourier, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)GrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Instituto Geofisico del PeruLimaPeru
  4. 4.Direccion de Hidrografia y Navegacion, DHNCallaoPeru

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