Non-linear resonant coupling of tsunami edge waves using stochastic earthquake source models

Geophysical Journal International



Non-linear resonant coupling of edge waves can occur with tsunamis generated by large-magnitude subduction zone earthquakes. Earthquake rupture zones that straddle beneath the coastline of continental margins are particularly efficient at generating tsunami edge waves. Using a stochastic model for earthquake slip, it is shown that a wide range of edge-wave modes and wavenumbers can be excited, depending on the variability of slip. If two modes are present that satisfy resonance conditions, then a third mode can gradually increase in amplitude over time, even if the earthquake did not originally excite that edge-wave mode. These three edge waves form a resonant triad that can cause unexpected variations in tsunami amplitude long after the first arrival. An M ∼ 9, 1100 km-long continental subduction zone earthquake is considered as a test case. For the least-variable slip examined involving a Gaussian random variable, the dominant resonant triad includes a high-amplitude fundamental mode wave with wavenumber associated with the along-strike dimension of rupture. The two other waves that make up this triad include subharmonic waves, one of fundamental mode and the other of mode 2 or 3. For the most variable slip examined involving a Cauchy-distributed random variable, the dominant triads involve higher wavenumbers and modes because subevents, rather than the overall rupture dimension, control the excitation of edge waves. Calculation of the resonant period for energy transfer determines which cases resonant coupling may be instrumentally observed. For low-mode triads, the maximum transfer of energy occurs approximately 20–30 wave periods after the first arrival and thus may be observed prior to the tsunami coda being completely attenuated. Therefore, under certain circumstances the necessary ingredients for resonant coupling of tsunami edge waves exist, indicating that resonant triads may be observable and implicated in late, large-amplitude tsunami arrivals.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Non-linear resonant coupling of tsunami edge waves using stochastic earthquake source models
Series title Geophysical Journal International
DOI 10.1093/gji/ggv489
Volume 204
Issue 2
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Blackwell Science
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 878
Last page 891
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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