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The 16 September 2015 Chile Tsunami from the Post-Tsunami Survey and Numerical Modeling Perspectives

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On September 16, 2015 a magnitude Mw 8.3 earthquake took place off the coast of the Coquimbo Region, Chile. Three tsunami survey teams covered approximately 700 km of the Pacific coast. The teams surveyed the area, recording 83 tsunami flow depth and runup measurements. The maximum runup was found to be 10.8 m at only one small bay, in front of the inferred tsunami source area. However, it was observed that runup in other locations rarely exceed 6 m. Tsunami runup was larger than those of the 2014 Pisagua event, despite the similar earthquake magnitude. Moreover, tsunami arrival times were found to be shorter than those of previous tsunamis along the Chilean subduction zone. Numerical simulations of the tsunami event showed a good agreement with field data, highlighting that tsunami arrival time and the spatial variation of the tsunami amplitudes were strongly influenced by the bathymetry, coastal morphology and the slip distribution of the causative earthquake.

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The authors would like to thank CONICYT (Chile) for its FONDAP 15110017, and FONDECYT 11140424 grants as well as FB0821 grant. Thanks to the Faculty of Engineering at UCSC for the partial funding of the post tsunami survey. The authors also thank The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) through their SATREPS Program “Enhancement of Technology to Develop Tsunami-resilient Community”. Special thanks to people who contributed to the collection of field data: Stephane Abadie, Patricio Winckler, Jose Baquedano, Matias Carvajal, Pablo Cortes, Alejandra Gubler, Raimundo Ibaceta, Cyril Mokrani, Alejandro Urrutia, Georgette Mell, Carlos Inostroza, Bob Keulers and Kimberley Koudstaal. Thanks to the Chilean Navy and the Municipality of Coquimbo for their important help during the field survey. We thank the editor and the two reviewers for their comments which help us to improve the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rafael Aránguiz.

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This paper is part of the article collection on “Illapel, Chile, Earthquake on September 16th, 2015”.

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Aránguiz, R., González, G., González, J. et al. The 16 September 2015 Chile Tsunami from the Post-Tsunami Survey and Numerical Modeling Perspectives. Pure Appl. Geophys. 173, 333–348 (2016).

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