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Meteotsunami-related flooding and drying: numerical modeling of four Adriatic events


Meteotsunamis (localized ocean waves with periods similar to those of tsunamis but caused by meteorological phenomena) have been observed around the globe and are frequently observed in the Adriatic Sea. Numerous studies have focused on numerical modeling of meteotsunamis, but only a few have modeled flooding and drying of the coastal areas that play an important role in risk assessment. In this study, we model four historic meteotsunami events (Vela Luka Bay, June 21, 1978; Široka Bay, August 22, 2007; Mali Lošinj Bay August 15, 2008; Stari Grad Bay February 19, 2010) that occurred in the Adriatic Sea, using ADICRC, a flooding and drying capable ocean numerical model. Comparison of those results with similar simulations that do not use the flooding and drying algorithm was made to determine differences in modeled wave height. Three of the modeled events (Vela Luka, Široka and Mali Lošinj) are more accurately depicted if including the flooding and drying algorithm, suggesting that extreme events can be more realistically modeled than with the more commonly used cut-off depth (i.e., specifying minimum depth larger than expected maximum wave height). Modeling results for the fourth event (Stari Grad) confirm a previous assumption that flooding occurred due to the superposition of a storm surge and a meteotsunami, rather than a meteotsunami alone.

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The authors would like to thank the Croatian National Weather Service for providing barograms for August 15, 2008, and the Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia for providing Split and Dubrovnik tide gauge records for February 18–20, 2010.


The study was conceived and started within the framework of the project 2831 Climate of the Adriatic REgion in its global context (CARE) and completed within the framework of the project 9849 Middle Adriatic Upwelling and Downwelling (MAUD), both fully funded by the Croatian Science Foundation.

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Correspondence to Maja Bubalo.

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Bubalo, M., Janeković, I. & Orlić, M. Meteotsunami-related flooding and drying: numerical modeling of four Adriatic events. Nat Hazards 106, 1365–1382 (2021).

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  • Adriatic
  • Flooding and drying
  • Meteotsunami
  • Numerical modeling