Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Tsunamis: Stochastic Models of Occurrence and Generation Mechanisms

  • Eric L. GeistEmail author
  • David D. Oglesby
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_595-1

Definition of Subject

The devastating consequences of the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Japan tsunamis have led to increased research into many different aspects of the tsunami phenomenon. In this entry, we review research related to the observed complexity and uncertainty associated with tsunami generation, propagation, and occurrence described and analyzed using a variety of stochastic methods. In each case, seismogenic tsunamis are primarily considered. Stochastic models are developed from the physical theories that govern tsunami evolution combined with empirical models fitted to seismic and tsunami observations, as well as tsunami catalogs. These stochastic methods are key to providing probabilistic forecasts and hazard assessments for tsunamis. The stochastic methods described here are similar to those described for earthquakes (Vere-Jones 2013) and volcanoes (Bebbington 2013) in this encyclopedia.


Tsunamis are generated in the ocean by rapidly displacing the entire...


Tsunami models Earthquake models, Stochastic process Tsunami generation Dynamic earthquake rupture Tsunami time series Tsunami occurrence Tsunami probability 
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The authors gratefully acknowledge careful readings of this entry and constructive comments by Martin Mai, Mark Bebbington, Kenji Satake, Tom Parsons, and, the Encyclopedia Section Editor, William H. K. Lee. Data used in this study include DART bottom-pressure recorder data from the event archive at NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center and digital tide-gauge records from NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center. Analysis of tsunami records was performed in part using the Wave Analysis for Fatigue and Oceanography (WAFO) package developed at Lund University, Sweden.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA