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Possible worst-case tsunami scenarios around the Marmara Sea from combined earthquake and landslide sources

Abstract

This study evaluates tsunami hazards in the Marmara Sea from possible worst-case tsunami scenarios that are from submarine earthquakes and landslides. In terms of fault-generated tsunamis, seismic ruptures can propagate along the North Anatolian Fault (NAF), which has produced historical tsunamis in the Marmara Sea. Based on the past studies, which consider fault-generated tsunamis and landslide-generated tsunamis individually, future scenarios are expected to generate tsunamis, and submarine landslides could be triggered by seismic motion. In addition to these past studies, numerical modeling has been applied to tsunami generation and propagation from combined earthquake and landslide sources. In this study, tsunami hazards are evaluated from both individual and combined cases of submarine earthquakes and landslides through numerical tsunami simulations with a grid size of 90 m for bathymetry and topography data for the entire Marmara Sea region and validated with historical observations from the 1509 and 1894 earthquakes. This study implements TUNAMI model with a two-layer model to conduct numerical tsunami simulations, and the numerical results show that the maximum tsunami height could reach 4.0 m along Istanbul shores for a full submarine rupture of the NAF, with a fault slip of 5.0 m in the eastern and western basins of the Marmara Sea. The maximum tsunami height for landslide-generated tsunamis from small, medium, and large of initial landslide volumes (0.15, 0.6, and 1.5 km3, respectively) could reach 3.5, 6.0, and 8.0 m, respectively, along Istanbul shores. Possible tsunamis from submarine landslides could be significantly higher than those from earthquakes, depending on the landslide volume significantly. These combined earthquake and landslide sources only result in higher tsunami amplitudes for small volumes significantly because of amplification within the same tsunami amplitude scale (3.0–4.0 m). Waveforms from all the coasts around the Marmara Sea indicate that other residential areas might have had a high risk of tsunami hazards from submarine landslides, which can generate higher tsunami amplitudes and shorter arrival times, compared to Istanbul.

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Acknowledgments

This study was partially supported by Willis Research Network (WRN) through a research budget to the first author. The first author would like to extend his sincere gratitude to Prof. Shinji Toda (IRIDeS, Tohoku University, Japan) for fruitful discussions and suggestions regarding fault parameters used in this study. We also would like to thank Dr. Nicolas Pondard for inspiring this research.

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Correspondence to Panon Latcharote.

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Latcharote, P., Suppasri, A., Imamura, F. et al. Possible worst-case tsunami scenarios around the Marmara Sea from combined earthquake and landslide sources. Pure Appl. Geophys. 173, 3823–3846 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-016-1411-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-016-1411-z

Keywords

  • Marmara Sea
  • tsunami hazards
  • combined earthquake and landslide
  • numerical modeling