Tsunamis pp 43-56 | Cite as

Timing and Scale of Tsunamis Caused by the 1994 Rabaul Eruption, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea

  • Y. Nishimura
  • M. Nakagawa
  • J. Kuduon
  • J. Wukawa
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 23)


The timing and scale of the 1994 Rabaul tsunamis accompanying the eruption of Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes were estimated from the temporal and spatial distribution of tsunami deposits. The deposits are identified as sand layers or characteristic pumiceous sand layers (mixtures of pumice and sand) sandwiched by tephras from the two volcanoes. The tephras appear to play an important role in preserving the original structures of the tsunami deposits. According to chronological data from both tephra and tsunami deposits, the tsunamis were not generated by the first eruption of Vulcan volcano that occurred close to the coast, but major tsunamis were excited several times by larger pyroclastic flows and base surges during the climactic stage of the eruption. Tsunami run-up heights, estimated from distribution of the tsunami deposits, are about 8 m near Sulphur Creak and more than 3.5 m around western to southern shore of Matupit Island.

Key words

Tsunami run-up tsunami deposit pumiceous sand Rabaul eruption 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Nishimura
    • 1
  • M. Nakagawa
    • 2
  • J. Kuduon
    • 3
  • J. Wukawa
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Seismology and VolcanologyHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Rabaul Volcanological ObservatoryRabaul, West New BritainPapua New Guinea

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