Chapter two: Phenomenology of tsunamis II: scaling, event statistics, and inter-event triggering

Advances in Geophysics



Observations related to tsunami catalogs are reviewed and described in a phenomenological framework. An examination of scaling relationships between earthquake size (as expressed by scalar seismic moment and mean slip) and tsunami size (as expressed by mean and maximum local run-up and maximum far-field amplitude) indicates that scaling is significant at the 95% confidence level, although there is uncertainty in how well earthquake size can predict tsunami size (R2 ~ 0.4-0.6). In examining tsunami event statistics, current methods used to estimate the size distribution of earthquakes and landslides and the inter-event time distribution of earthquakes are first reviewed. These methods are adapted to estimate the size and inter-event distribution of tsunamis at a particular recording station. Using a modified Pareto size distribution, the best-fit power-law exponents of tsunamis recorded at nine Pacific tide-gauge stations exhibit marked variation, in contrast to the approximately constant power-law exponent for inter-plate thrust earthquakes. With regard to the inter-event time distribution, significant temporal clustering of tsunami sources is demonstrated. For tsunami sources occurring in close proximity to other sources in both space and time, a physical triggering mechanism, such as static stress transfer, is a likely cause for the anomalous clustering. Mechanisms of earthquake-to-earthquake and earthquake-to-landslide triggering are reviewed. Finally, a modification of statistical branching models developed for earthquake triggering is introduced to describe triggering among tsunami sources.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Chapter two: Phenomenology of tsunamis II: scaling, event statistics, and inter-event triggering
Series title Advances in Geophysics
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-380938-4.00002-1
Volume 53
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Academic Press
Publisher location New York, NY
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 58 p.
First page 35
Last page 92
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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