Skip to main content

Tsunami hazard evaluation for Kuwait and Arabian Gulf due to Makran Subduction Zone and Subaerial landslides

Abstract

Given the recent historical disastrous tsunamis and the knowledge that the Arabian Gulf (AG) is tectonically active, this study aimed to evaluate tsunami hazards in Kuwait from both submarine earthquakes and subaerial landslides. Despite the low or unknown tsunami risks that impose potential threats to the coastal area’s infrastructures and population of Kuwait, such an investigation is important to sustain the economy and safety of life. This study focused on tsunamis generated by submarine earthquakes with earthquake magnitudes (M w ) of 8.3–9.0 along the Makran Subduction Zone (MSZ) and subaerial landslides with volumes of 0.75–2.0 km3 from six sources along the Iranian coast inside the AG and one source at the Gulf entrance in Oman. The level of tsunami hazards associated with these tsunamigenic sources was evaluated using numerical modeling. Tsunami model was applied to conduct a numerical tsunami simulation and predict tsunami propagation. For landslide sources, a two-layer model was proposed to solve nonlinear longwave equations within two interfacing layers with appropriate kinematic and dynamic boundary conditions. Threat level maps along the coasts of the AG and Kuwait were developed to illustrate the impacts of potential tsunamis triggered by submarine earthquakes of different scales and subaerial landslides at different sources. GEBCO 30 arc-second grid data and others were used as bathymetry and topography data for numerical modeling. Earthquakes of M w 8.3 and M w 8.6 along the MSZ had low and considerable impacts, respectively, at the Gulf entrance, but negligible impacts on Kuwait. An earthquake of M w 9.0 had a remarkable impact for the entire Gulf region and generated a maximum tsunami amplitude of up to 0.5 m along the Kuwaiti coastline 12 h after the earthquake. In the case of landslides inside the AG, the majority impact occurred locally near the sources. The landslide source opposite to Kuwait Bay generated the maximum tsunami amplitudes reaching 0.3 m inside Kuwait Bay and 1.8 m along the southern coasts of Kuwait.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Source: Enipedia Portal (2016)

Fig. 2
Fig. 3

(Reproduced with permission from Al-Jeri et al. 2009)

Fig. 4

Modified from Hessami et al. (2003)

Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8

(Reproduced with permission from Imamura and Imteaz 1995)

Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17
Fig. 18
Fig. 19
Fig. 20
Fig. 21

References

  • Aida I (1975) Numerical experiments of the tsunami associated with the collapse of Mt. Mayuyama in 1792. Earthq Res Inst Univ Tokyo 28:449–460 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Alam E, Dominey-Howes D, Chague-Goff C, Goff J (2012) Tsunamis of the northeast Indian Ocean with a particular focus on the Bay of Bengal region–a synthesis and review. Earth Sci Rev 114:175–193

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aldama-Bustos G, Bommer JJ, Fenton CH, Stafford P (2009) Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for rock sites in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Empirates. Georisk 3(1):1–29

    Google Scholar 

  • Al-Jeri F, Abdel-Fattah R, Al-Enezi A (2009). Kuwait national seismic network: data analysis and reporting. EC042G, Technical Report KISR 10158, KISR. Kuwait

  • Ambraseys NN, Melville CP (1982) A history of Persian earthquakes. Cambridge University Press, Britain

    Google Scholar 

  • Bapat A, Kulkarni RC, Guha SK (1983) Catalogue of earthquakes in India and neighbourhood, from historical period up to 1979. Indian Society of Earthquake Technology, Roorkee, p 211p

    Google Scholar 

  • Bilham R, Lodi S, Hough S, Bukhary S, Murtaza A, Rafeeqi K (2007) Seismic hazard in Karachi, Pakistan: uncertain past, uncertain future. Seismol Res Lett 78(6):601–613

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Byrne DE, Sykes LR, Davis DM (1992) Great thrust earthquakes and aseismic slip along the plate boundary of the Makran subduction zone. J Geophys Res 97:449–478

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Coastal Science and Engineering (2014) http://coastalscience.com

  • Cummins PR (2007) The potential for giant tsunamigenic earthquakes in the northern Bay of Bengal. Nature 449:75–78

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dominey-Howes D, Humphreys GS, Hesse PP (2006) Tsunami and palaeotsunami depositional signatures and their potential value in understanding the late-Holocene tsunami record. Holocene 16(8):1095–1107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dominey-Howes D, Cummins P, Burbidge D (2007) Historic records of teletsunami in the Indian Ocean and insights from numerical modelling. Nat Hazards 42:1–17

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Global Energy Observatory: Information on Global Energy Systems (2017) http://globalenergyobservatory.org

  • Grunthel G, Bosse C, Sellami S, Mayer-Rosa D, Giardini D (1999) Compilation of the GSHAP regional seismic hazard map for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Ann Geofis 42(6):1215–1223

    Google Scholar 

  • Harada K (2014) Study on the numerical simulation of tsunami by debris avalanche-case study of Mt. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of Japan, Fuji and Suruga Bay

    Google Scholar 

  • Heck NH (1947) List of seismic sea wave. Bull Seismol Soc Am 37(4):269–286

    Google Scholar 

  • Heidarzadeh M, Kijko A (2011) A probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment for the Makran subduction zone at the northwestern Indian Ocean. Nat Hazards 56:577–593

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heidarzadeh M, Satake K (2014a) New insights into the source of the Makran tsunami of 27 November 1945 from tsunami waveforms and coastal deformation data. Pure Appl Geophys 172(3):621–640

    Google Scholar 

  • Heidarzadeh M, Satake K (2014b) Possible sources of the tsunami observed in the northwestern Indian Ocean following the 2013 September 24 Mw 7.7 Pakistan inland earthquake. Geophys J Int 199(2):752–766

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heidarzadeh M, Pirooz MD, Zaker NH, Synolakis CE (2008a) Evaluating tsunami hazard in the Northwestern Indian Ocean. Pure appl Geophys 165:2045–2058

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heidarzadeh M, Pirooz MD, Zaker NH, Yalciner AC, Mokhtari M, Esmaeily A (2008b) Historical tsunami in the Makran Subduction Zone off the southern coasts of Iran and Pakistan and results of numerical modeling. Ocean Eng 165:2045–2058

    Google Scholar 

  • Heidarzadeh M, Pirooz MD, Zaker NH (2009) Modeling the near-field effects of the worst-case tsunami in the Makran subduction zone. Ocean Eng 36(5):368–376

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hessami K, Jamali F, Tabassi H (2003) Major active faults of Iran, scale 1: 2,500,000. International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Tehran

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoechner A, Babeyko Y, Zamora N (2016) Probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment for the Makran region with focus on maximum magnitude assumption. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 16:1339–1350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Imamura F (1989) Tsunami numerical simulation with the staggered leap-frog scheme (Numerical code of TUNAMI-N1). School of Civil Engineering, Asian Inst. Tech. and Disaster Control Research Center, Tohoku University, Sendai

    Google Scholar 

  • Imamura F (1996) Review of tsunami simulation with a finite difference method. In: Yeh H, Liu P, Synolakis CE (eds) Long-wave runup models. World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, pp 25–42

    Google Scholar 

  • Imamura F, Imteaz MA (1995) Long waves in two-layers: governing equations and numerical model. Sci Tsunami Hazards 13(1):3–24

    Google Scholar 

  • Jackson JA, McKenzie D (1984) Active tectonics of the Alpine-Himalayan belt between Turkey and Pakistan. Geophys J Roy Astron Soc 77(1):185–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jordan BR (2008) Tsunamis of the Arabian Peninsula a guide to historical events. Sci Tsunami Hazards 27:31–46

    Google Scholar 

  • Kuwait National Petroleum Company (2017) https://www.knpc.com. Accessed 1 Aug 2017

  • Kuwait Ports Authority (2014) http://www.kpa.gov.kw. Accessed 1 Aug 2017

  • McEvilly TV, Razani R (1973) The Qir, Iran earthquake of April 10, 1972. Bull Seismol Soc Am 63:339–354

    Google Scholar 

  • Mokhtari M (2011) Tsunami in Makran region and its effect on the Persian Gulf. In: Tsunami–Growing Disaster. Croatia: InTech, pp 161–174

  • Musson RMW (2009) Subduction in the Western Makran the historian’s contribution. J Geol Soc 166:387–391

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • National Geophysical Data Center/World Data Service (NGDC/WDS) (2017) Global historical Tsunami database. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. https://doi.org/10.7289/V5PN93H7. 3/3/2017

  • Okada Y (1985) Surface deformation due to shear and tensile faults in a half-space. Bull Seismol Soc Am 75:1135–1154

    Google Scholar 

  • Okal EA (2015) Realistic scenarios for tsunami risk in the South China Sea, workshop on scenario analysis of future tsunami events in the South China Sea. UNESCO-IOC, Xiamen

    Google Scholar 

  • Okal EA, Synolakis CE (2008) Far-field tsunami hazard from mega-thrust earthquakes in the Indian Ocean. Geophys J Int 172:995–1015

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Page WD, Alt JN, Cluff LS, Plafker G (1979) Evidence for the recurrence of large-magnitude earthquakes along the Makran coast of Iran and Pakistan. Tectonophysics 52:533–547

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Papazachos BC, Scordilis EM, Panagiotopoulos DG, Papazachos CB, Karakaisis GF (2004) Global relations between seismic fault parameters and moment magnitude of earthquakes. Bull Geol Soc Gr 36:1482–1489

    Google Scholar 

  • Pararas-Carayannis G (2006) Potential of tsunami generation along the Makran subduction zone in the northern Arabian Sea–case study: the earthquake and tsunami of November 28, 1945. In: 3rd Tsunami symposium of the Tsunami Society May 23–25, 2006, East-West Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Peiris N, Free M, Lubkowski Z, Hussein AT (2006) Seismic hazard and seismic requirements for the Arabian Gulf region. In: First European conference on earthquake engineering and seismology, Geneva, Switzerland

  • Rastogi BK, Jaiswal RK (2006) A catalog of tsunamis in the Indian Ocean. Sci Tsunami Hazard 25(3):128–143

    Google Scholar 

  • Satake K (2001) Numerical simulation of tsunami in Lake Toya potentially generated by collapse of Mt. Usu. Bull Geol Surv Jpn 52(4/5):241–244 (in Japanese)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shoaei Z, Ghayoumian J (1998) Seimareh landslide, the largest complex slide in the world. In: The 18th international congress of the international association for engineering geology and the environment, vol 1–5, pp 1337–1342

  • Smith GL, McNeill LC, Wang K, He J, Henstock TJ (2013) Thermal structure and megathrust seismogenic potential of the Makran subduction zone. Geophys Res Lett 40:1528–1533

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stein S, Okal EA (2005) Size and speed of the Sumatra earthquake. Nature 434:581–582

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suppasri A, Imamura F, Koshimura S (2012a) Tsunamigenic ratio of the Pacific Ocean Earthquakes and a proposal for a Tsunami Index. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12(1):175–185

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suppasri A, Imamura F, Koshimura S (2012b) Tsunami hazard and casualty estimation in a coastal area that neighbors the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. J Earthq Tsunami 6(2):1250010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suppasri A, Imamura F, Koshimura S (2012c) Probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis and risk to coastal populations in Thailand. J Earthq Tsunami 6(2):1250011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suppasri A, Goto K, Muhari A, Ranasinghe P, Riyaz M, Affan M, Mas E, Yasuda M, Imamura F (2015) A decade after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami-the progress in disaster preparedness and future challenges in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives. Pure appl Geophys 172(12):3313–3341

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • UNESCO (1997) IUGG/IOC TIME project: numerical method of tsunami simulation with the leap-frog scheme. Man Guides 35:126

    Google Scholar 

  • U.S. Energy Information Administration (2017) https://www.eia.gov. Accessed 1 Aug 2017

  • Ward SN, Day S (2005) Tsunami thoughts. CSEG Recorder pp 39–44

  • Wells DL, Coppersmith KJ (1994) New empirical relationship among magnitude, rupture length, rupture width, rupture area and surface displacement. Bull Seismol Soc Am 84(4):974–1002

    Google Scholar 

  • Yaminifard F, Sedghi MH, Gholamzadeh A, Tatar M, Hessami K (2012) Active faulting of the southeastern-most Zagros (Iran): microearthquake seismicity and crustal structure. J Geodyn 55:56–65

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yeats R (2012) Active faults of the world. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 634

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This study was fully supported by Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). The specific project code is P214-44SE-01.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Panon Latcharote.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 6.

Table 6 Maximum tsunami amplitude at vital facilities along the AG coasts

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Latcharote, P., Al-Salem, K., Suppasri, A. et al. Tsunami hazard evaluation for Kuwait and Arabian Gulf due to Makran Subduction Zone and Subaerial landslides. Nat Hazards 93, 127–152 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-017-3097-7

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-017-3097-7

Keywords

  • Tsunami hazards
  • Kuwait
  • Arabian Gulf
  • MSZ
  • Subaerial landslide