Articles | Volume 1, issue 4
Special issue:
31 Dec 2001
31 Dec 2001

Detailed analysis of tsunami waveforms generated by the 1946 Aleutian tsunami earthquake

Y. Tanioka and T. Seno

Abstract. The 1946 Aleutian earthquake was a typical tsunami earthquake which generated abnormally larger tsunami than expected from its seismic waves. Previously, Johnson and Satake (1997) estimated the fault model of this earthquake using the tsunami waveforms observed at tide gauges. However, they did not model the second pulse of the tsunami at Honolulu although that was much larger than the first pulse. In this paper, we numerically computed the tsunami waveforms using the linear Boussinesq equation to determine the fault model which explains the observed tsunami waveforms including the large second pulse observed at Honolulu. The estimated fault width is 40–60 km which is much narrower than the fault widths of the typical great underthrust earthquakes, the 1957 Aleutian and the 1964 Alasuka earthquakes. A previous study of the 1896 Sanriku earthquake, another typical tsunami earthquake, suggested that the additional uplift of the sediments near the Japan Trench had a large effect on the tsunami generation. In this study, we also show that the additional uplift of the sediments near the trench, due to a large coseismic horizon-tal movement of the backstop, had a significant effect on the tsunami generation of the 1946 Aleutian earthquake. The estimated seismic moment of the 1946 Aleutian earthquake is 17–19 × 1020 20 Nm (Mw 8.1).

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