Articles | Volume 13, issue 2
Research article
15 Feb 2013
Research article |  | 15 Feb 2013

Owen Ridge deep-water submarine landslides: implications for tsunami hazard along the Oman coast

M. Rodriguez, N. Chamot-Rooke, H. Hébert, M. Fournier, and P. Huchon

Abstract. The recent discovery of voluminous submarine landslides along the Owen Ridge may represent a source of tsunami hazard for the nearby Oman coast. We assess the severity of this potential hazard by performing numerical simulations of tsunami generation and propagation from the biggest landslide (40 km3 in volume) observed along the Owen Ridge. A finite-difference model, assimilating the landslide to a visco-plastic flow, simulates tsunami generation. Computation results show that Salalah city (190 000 inhabitants) is impacted by 2.5 m-high tsunami waves one hour after sediment failure. Higher wave elevation values (4 m) are reached in the low populated Sawqara Bay over 80 min after slide initiation. Although large submarine failures along remote oceanic ridges are infrequent, this study reveals an underestimated source of tsunami hazard in the Arabian Sea.