Observations and Modeling of the August 27, 2012 Earthquake and Tsunami affecting El Salvador and Nicaragua
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On 27 August 2012 (04:37 UTC, 26 August 10:37 p.m. local time) a magnitude M w = 7.3 earthquake occurred off the coast of El Salvador and generated surprisingly large local tsunami. Following the event, local and international tsunami teams surveyed the tsunami effects in El Salvador and northern Nicaragua. The tsunami reached a maximum height of ~6 m with inundation of up to 340 m inland along a 25 km section of coastline in eastern El Salvador. Less severe inundation was reported in northern Nicaragua. In the far-field, the tsunami was recorded by a DART buoy and tide gauges in several locations of the eastern Pacific Ocean but did not cause any damage. The field measurements and recordings are compared to numerical modeling results using initial conditions of tsunami generation based on finite-fault earthquake and tsunami inversions and a uniform slip model.
KeywordsSeismic Moment Tsunami Wave Slip Distribution Tsunami Height Tsunami Effect
We would like to acknowledge Francisco Gavidia-Medina, Jeniffer Larreynaga-Murcia, Rodolfo Torres-Cornejo, Manuel Diaz-Flores, Fabio Alvarado and rest of the staff at MARN for logistical support, assistance during the field survey and excellent hospitality. Norwin Acosta of INETER conducted the survey of the sites in Nicaragua. Other field survey participants included Nicolas Arcos, Diego Arcas, and Julie Leonard. Laura Kong and the International Tsunami Information Center provided logistical and organizational support to the field survey. The Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña provided the opportunity for an aerial survey by helicopter of the tsunami-affected area.
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