Articles | Volume 10, issue 11
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2359–2369, 2010

Special issue: New developments in tsunami science: from hazard to risk

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2359–2369, 2010

Research article 22 Nov 2010

Research article | 22 Nov 2010

Numerical simulation of a tsunami event during the 1996 volcanic eruption in Karymskoye lake, Kamchatka, Russia

T. Torsvik1, R. Paris2, I. Didenkulova3,4, E. Pelinovsky4, A. Belousov5, and M. Belousova5,6 T. Torsvik et al.
  • 1Bergen Center for Computational Science, Uni Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 2CNRS-GEOLAB, Clermont-Université, 4 rue Ledru, 63057 Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 3Laboratory of Wave Engineering, Institute of Cybernetics, Tallinn, Estonia
  • 4Department of Nonlinear Geophysical Processes, Institute of Applied Physics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
  • 5Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 6Institute of Volcanology & Seismology, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia

Abstract. Karymskoye caldera lake is a nearly circular body of water with a diameter of approximately 4 km and a depth of up to 60 m. The sublacustrine, Surtseyan-type eruption in the lake on 2–3 January 1996 included a series of underwater explosions. A field survey conducted the following summer showed signs of tsunami wave runup around the entire coastline of the lake, with a maximum of 29 m runup at the north shore near the source of the eruption, and 2–5 m runup at locations on the east and south shore far away from the source.

The tsunami has been simulated using the numerical long wave model COULWAVE, with input from reconstructed realistic pre-eruption bathymetry. The tsunami source was chosen as suggested by Le Mehaute (1971) and Mirchina and Pelinovsky (1988). The initial wave was prescribed by a parabolic shape depression with a radius of R=200 m, and a height of 23 m at the rim of the parabola. Simulations were conducted to show principle directions for wave propagation, wave speed and arrival time for the leading wave group at the shore, and the distribution of wave height throughout the lake. Estimated result for wave runup are of the same order of magnitude as field measurements, except near the source of the eruption and at a few locations where analysis show significant wave breaking.