Articles | Volume 11, issue 9
Research article
22 Sep 2011
Research article |  | 22 Sep 2011

Real-time inversion of tsunamis generated by landslides

C. Cecioni, A. Romano, G. Bellotti, M. Risio, and P. de Girolamo

Abstract. In this paper, we test a method for forecasting in real-time the properties of offshore propagating tsunami waves generated by landslides, with the aim of supporting tsunami early warning systems. The method uses an inversion procedure, that takes input data measurements of water surface elevation at a point close to the tsunamigenic source. The measurements are used to correct the results of pre-computed numerical simulations, reproducing the wave field induced by different landslide scenarios. The accuracy of the method is evaluated using the results of laboratory experiments, aimed at studying tsunamis generated by landslides sliding along the flank of a circular shoreline island. The paper investigates what the optimal position is of where to measure the tsunamis, what the effects are, the accuracy of the results, and of uncertainties on the landslide scenarios. Finally, the method is successfully tested using partial input time series, simulating the behaviour of the system in real-time during the tsunami event when forecasts are updated, as the measurements become available.