The Effects on Tsunami Hazard Assessment in Chile of Assuming Earthquake Scenarios with Spatially Uniform Slip
We investigated the effect that along-dip slip distribution has on the near-shore tsunami amplitudes and on coastal land-level changes in the region of central Chile (29°–37°S). Here and all along the Chilean megathrust, the seismogenic zone extends beneath dry land, and thus, tsunami generation and propagation is limited to its seaward portion, where the sensitivity of the initial tsunami waveform to dislocation model inputs, such as slip distribution, is greater. We considered four distributions of earthquake slip in the dip direction, including a spatially uniform slip source and three others with typical bell-shaped slip patterns that differ in the depth range of slip concentration. We found that a uniform slip scenario predicts much lower tsunami amplitudes and generally less coastal subsidence than scenarios that assume bell-shaped distributions of slip. Although the finding that uniform slip scenarios underestimate tsunami amplitudes is not new, it has been largely ignored for tsunami hazard assessment in Chile. Our simulations results also suggest that uniform slip scenarios tend to predict later arrival times of the leading wave than bell-shaped sources. The time occurrence of the largest wave at a specific site is also dependent on how the slip is distributed in the dip direction; however, other factors, such as local bathymetric configurations and standing edge waves, are also expected to play a role. Arrival time differences are especially critical in Chile, where tsunamis arrive earlier than elsewhere. We believe that the results of this study will be useful to both public and private organizations for mapping tsunami hazard in coastal areas along the Chilean coast, and, therefore, help reduce the risk of loss and damage caused by future tsunamis.
KeywordsTsunami modeling along-dip slip distribution tsunami amplitude sensitivity coastal land-level change sensitivity tsunami hazard assessment Chile arrival times tsunami waves
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