Modeling Submarine Landslide-Generated Waves in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia/Albania

  • Katja LindhorstEmail author
  • Sebastian KrastelEmail author
  • Cord Papenberg
  • Mohammed Heidarzadeh
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 37)


We study potential tsunami hazards associated with submarine landslides in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia/Albania. The transboundary Lake Ohrid located on the Balkan Peninsula shared by Macedonia and Albania is considered to be the oldest- continuously existing lake in Europe (2–5 Ma), though the age and the origin are not completely unraveled to date. Previous studies by means of hydroacoustic methods have shown that the western margin of Lake Ohrid has a long history of mass wasting. Based on seismic data, slide deposits are found in different stratigraphic levels as well as on the lake floor where they have affected a large area. This study is focused on the well-studied Udenisht Slide Complex covering an area of 27 km2 within the southwestern part of Lake Ohrid. The Udenisht slide is by far the largest mass movement with an average thickness of 30–40 m and an estimated volume of about 0.11 km3. It is therefore well within the limits of submarine landslides that are known to be capable of triggering tsunamis. Using numerical modeling, the propagation of a landslide-generated tsunami with an initial wave height of more than 5 m has been calculated. Run-up heights estimated for coastal communities around the lake are moderate in the north (2–3 m) can reach up to 10 m directly at the site where the slide initiated. This study is a first generation of landslide tsunami hazard assessment for Lake Ohrid and further detailed modeling is recommended for the region.


Lake Ohrid Submarine landslide Tsunami Numerical modeling 



We thank the reviewers Hendrik Vogel and Ahmet C. Yalciner as well as the editor Carl B. Harbitz for their comments and suggestions that improved the manuscript. The TUNAMI-N2 code used is this paper is originally authored by Professors Fumihiku Imamura and Nobou Shuto at the Tohoku University in Japan. TUNAMI-N2 is copyrighted to Professors Ahmet C. Yalciner, Fumihiku Imamura and Costas E. Synolakis. We acknowledge them for developing and making available the code to scientists around the world. We also would like to thank Sascha Brune for his constructive cooperation regarding landslide tsunami modeling. We also thank C. Berndt for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeosciencesChristian-Albrechts Universität zu KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research KielKielGermany
  3. 3.Cluster of Excellence – The Future Ocean, Institute of GeosciencesChristian-Albrechts University zu KielKielGermany

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