Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 175, Issue 6, pp 1939–1950 | Cite as

The 2017 México Tsunami Record, Numerical Modeling and Threat Assessment in Costa Rica

  • Silvia Chacón-Barrantes
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. The September 2017 Chiapas and Central Mexico earthquakes and tsunamis


An Mw 8.2 earthquake and tsunami occurred offshore the Pacific coast of México on 2017-09-08, at 04:49 UTC. Costa Rican tide gauges have registered a total of 21 local, regional and far-field tsunamis. The Quepos gauge registered 12 tsunamis between 1960 and 2014 before it was relocated inside a harbor by late 2014, where it registered two more tsunamis. This paper analyzes the 2017 México tsunami as recorded by the Quepos gauge. It took 2 h for the tsunami to arrive to Quepos, with a first peak height of 9.35 cm and a maximum amplitude of 18.8 cm occurring about 6 h later. As a decision support tool, this tsunami was modeled for Quepos in real time using ComMIT (Community Model Interface for Tsunami) with the finer grid having a resolution of 1 arcsec (~ 30 m). However, the model did not replicate the tsunami record well, probably due to the lack of a finer and more accurate bathymetry. In 2014, the National Tsunami Monitoring System of Costa Rica (SINAMOT) was created, acting as a national tsunami warning center. The occurrence of the 2017 México tsunami raised concerns about warning dissemination mechanisms for most coastal communities in Costa Rica, due to its short travel time.


2017 México tsunami Costa Rica tsunami preparedness tsunami records tsunami real-time modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RONMAC Program and SINAMOT, Depto. de FísicaUniversidad NacionalHerediaCosta Rica

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