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Tsunami Hazards along the Eastern Australian Coast from Potential Earthquakes: Results from Numerical Simulations


Australia is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean and, thus, may suffer from tsunamis due to its proximity to the subduction earthquakes around the boundary of Australian Plate. Potential tsunami risks along the eastern coast, where more and more people currently live, are numerically investigated through a scenario-based method to provide an estimation of the tsunami hazard in this region. We have chosen and calculated the tsunami waves generated at the New Hebrides Trench and the Puysegur Trench, and we further investigated the relevant tsunami hazards along the eastern coast and their sensitivities to various sea floor frictions and earthquake parameters (i.e. the strike, the dip and the slip angles and the earthquake magnitude/rupture length). The results indicate that the Puysegur trench possesses a seismic threat causing wave amplitudes over 1.5 m along the coast of Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales, and even reaching over 2.6 m at the regions close to Sydney, Maria Island, and Gabo Island for a certain worse case, while the cities along the coast of Queensland are potentially less vulnerable than those on the southeastern Australian coast.

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Support is gratefully acknowledged by ARC DP0666203, DP110103024 and NSFC 41104077. The authors are grateful to Dr Y Liu for helpful discussions. The comments of three anonymous reviewers greatly enhanced this paper.

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Correspondence to H. L. Xing.

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Xing, H.L., Ding, R.W. & Yuen, D.A. Tsunami Hazards along the Eastern Australian Coast from Potential Earthquakes: Results from Numerical Simulations. Pure Appl. Geophys. 172, 2087–2115 (2015).

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  • Tsunami hazard
  • numerical simulation
  • shallow-water equation
  • Eastern Australian coast