Earthquake mechanism and seafloor deformation for tsunami generation

By:  and 
Edited by: Michael BeerIoannis A. KougioumtzoglouEdoardo Patelli, and Ivan Siu-Kui Au



Tsunamis are generated in the ocean by rapidly displacing the entire water column over a significant area. The potential energy resulting from this disturbance is balanced with the kinetic energy of the waves during propagation. Only a handful of submarine geologic phenomena can generate tsunamis: large-magnitude earthquakes, large landslides, and volcanic processes. Asteroid and subaerial landslide impacts can generate tsunami waves from above the water. Earthquakes are by far the most common generator of tsunamis. Generally, earthquakes greater than magnitude (M) 6.5–7 can generate tsunamis if they occur beneath an ocean and if they result in predominantly vertical displacement. One of the greatest uncertainties in both deterministic and probabilistic hazard assessments of tsunamis is computing seafloor deformation for earthquakes of a given magnitude.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Earthquake mechanism and seafloor deformation for tsunami generation
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-36197-5_296-1
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 17 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Encyclopedia of earthquake engineering
First page 1
Last page 17
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