The largest uncertainty in assessing hazards from local tsunamis along the Cascadia margin is estimating the possible earthquake source parameters. We investigate which source parameters exert the largest influence on tsunami generation and determine how each parameter affects the amplitude of the local tsunami. The following source parameters were analyzed: (1) type of faulting characteristic of the Cascadia subduction zone, (2) amount of slip during rupture, (3) slip orientation, (4) duration of rupture, (5) physical properties of the accretionary wedge, and (6) influence of secondary faulting. The effect of each of these source parameters on the quasi-static displacement of the ocean floor is determined by using elastic three-dimensional, finite-element models. The propagation of the resulting tsunami is modeled both near the coastline using the two-dimensional (x-t) Peregrine equations that includes the effects of dispersion and near the source using the three-dimensional (x-y-t) linear long-wave equations. The source parameters that have the largest influence on local tsunami excitation are the shallowness of rupture and the amount of slip. In addition, the orientation of slip has a large effect on the directivity of the tsunami, especially for shallow dipping faults, which consequently has a direct influence on the length of coastline inundated by the tsunami. Duration of rupture, physical properties of the accretionary wedge, and secondary faulting all affect the excitation of tsunamis but to a lesser extent than the shallowness of rupture and the amount and orientation of slip. Assessment of the severity of the local tsunami hazard should take into account that relatively large tsunamis can be generated from anomalous 'tsunami earthquakes' that rupture within the accretionary wedge in comparison to interplate thrust earthquakes of similar magnitude. ?? 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Additional publication details
Source parameters controlling the generation and propagation of potential local tsunamis along the cascadia margin