Articles | Volume 16, issue 6
Research article
10 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 10 Jun 2016

Probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment for the Makran region with focus on maximum magnitude assumption

Andreas Hoechner, Andrey Y. Babeyko, and Natalia Zamora

Abstract. Despite having been rather seismically quiescent for the last decades, the Makran subduction zone is capable of hosting destructive earthquakes and tsunami. In particular, the well-known thrust event in 1945 (Balochistan earthquake) led to about 4000 casualties. Nowadays, the coastal regions are more densely populated and vulnerable to similar events. Furthermore, some recent publications discuss rare but significantly larger events at the Makran subduction zone as possible scenarios. We analyze the instrumental and historical seismicity at the subduction plate interface and generate various synthetic earthquake catalogs spanning 300 000 years with varying magnitude-frequency relations. For every event in the catalogs we compute estimated tsunami heights and present the resulting tsunami hazard along the coasts of Pakistan, Iran and Oman in the form of probabilistic tsunami hazard curves. We show how the hazard results depend on variation of the Gutenberg–Richter parameters and especially maximum magnitude assumption.

Short summary
The Makran subduction zone is not very active seismically, but nevertheless capable of hosting destructive earthquakes and tsunami, such as the Balochistan event in 1945, which led to about 4000 casualties. Some recent studies suggest that the maximum magnitude might be higher than previously thought. We generate a set of synthetic earthquake catalogs to compute tsunami hazard along the coast of Iran, Pakistan and Makran and show how different seismicity assumptions affect the hazard.
Final-revised paper