Short-Term Forecasts of Inundation during Teletsunamis in the Eastern North Pacific Ocean

  • H. O. Mofjeld
  • F. I. Gonzalez
  • J. C. Newman
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 9)


It is found empirically that, at tide gauges in the eastern North Pacific, later waves in a teletsunami are bounded in amplitude by envelopes that can be determined from observations of earlier waves at the same site. This is illustrated using the teletsunami generated by the 4 October 1994 Shikotan earthquake. The envelopes have the form η(t)=AσT in which t is the time since the local onset of the tsunami and σT is the standard deviation of the tsunami-band fluctuations that are observed in a time interval T immediately preceding t. For t ≤ 10 hr, T = t+2 hr and T = 12 hr thereafter. Values for the multiplicative factor A = 3.0 and the temporal parameters for T were determined by tuning the envelope to several teletsunamis. In principle, such envelopes can be extrapolated forward in time and added to predictions of background water levels to forecast the maximum elevations of tsunami waves that might occur during the next few hours. However, several issues need to be addressed before such a scheme can be used operationally These include the choice of inundation thresholds that are appropriate for tsunamis and the spatial distribution of gauges needed to adequately monitor tsunami waves in a region.


Tsunami Wave Runup Height Maximum Water Level Amplitude Envelope Local Onset 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. González, F I K Satake, E.F. Boss and H.O. Mofjeld, 1995. Edge wave and non-trapped modes of the 25 April 1992 Cape Mardocino tsunami, PAGEOPH, 144 (3/4), 409–426.Google Scholar
  2. Lander, J.F., and P.A. Lockridge, 1989. United States Tsunamis (including United States Possessions) 16901988, NOAA NGDC Publ. 41–2, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
  3. Milbum, H.B., A.I. Nakamura and F.I. Gonzalez, 1996. Real-time tsunami reporting from the deep ocean, Proc. Oceans ‘86 MTS/IEEE Conf., Sept. 23–26, 1996, Ft. Launderdale, FL, 390–394.Google Scholar
  4. Petrauskas, C., and L.E. Borgman, 1971. Frequencies of crest heights for random combinations of astronomical tides andtsunamis recorded at Crescent City, California, University of California Tech. Rept. BEL 16–8.Google Scholar
  5. Pugh, D.T., Tides, 1987. Surges and Mean Sea-Level, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Rabinovich, A.B., V.A. Djumagaliev I V Fine and E.A. Kulikov, 1993. Analysis of weak tsunamis in the region of Kuril Islands and resonance influence of topography, Proc. Internat. Tsunami Symp., Wakayama, Japan, Aug 1993, 95–105.Google Scholar
  7. Rabinovich, A.B., and G.V. Shevdnenko, 1990. Estimation of extreme sea-level heights as the superposition of tides, stone surges and tsunamis — Summary Proc Intern Tsunami Symp. July 31-Aug.3, 1989, Novosibirsk, 201–206.Google Scholar
  8. Tanioka, Y., L. Ruff and K. Satake, 1995. The great Kurile earthquake of October 4, 1994, tore the slab, Geophys. Res. Lett., 22, 1661–1664.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Van Dom, W.G., 1984. Some tsunami characteristics deducible from tide records, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 14, 353–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Van Dom, W.G., 1987. Tide gage response to tsunamis. Part II: Other oceans and smaller seas, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 17, 1507–1516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wiegel, R.L.,1970. Tsunamis, in Earthquake Engineering (R.L. Wiegel, Ed.), Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 253–306.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. O. Mofjeld
    • 1
  • F. I. Gonzalez
    • 1
  • J. C. Newman
    • 2
  1. 1.Pacific Marine Environmental LaboratoryNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and OceanUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations