Articles | Volume 3, issue 5
Special issue:
31 Oct 2003
31 Oct 2003

Tsunami excitation by inland/coastal earthquakes: the Green function approach

T. B. Yanovskaya, F. Romanelli, and G. F. Panza

Abstract. In the framework of the linear theory, the representation theorem is derived for an incompressible liquid layer with a boundary of arbitrary shape and in a homogeneous gravity field. In addition, the asymptotic representation for the Green function, in a layer of constant thickness is obtained. The validity of the approach for the calculation of the tsunami wavefield based on the Green function technique is verified comparing the results with those obtained from the modal theory, for a liquid layer of infinite horizontal dimensions. The Green function approach is preferable for the estimation of the excitation spectra, since in the case of an infinite liquid layer it leads to simple analytical expressions. From this analysis it is easy to describe the peculiarities of tsunami excitation by different sources. The method is extended to the excitation of tsunami in a semiinfinite layer with a sloping boundary. Numerical modelling of the tsunami wavefield, excited by point sources at different distances from the coastline, shows that when the source is located at a distance from the coastline equal or larger than the source depth, the shore presence does not affect the excitation of the tsunami. When the source is moved towards thecoastline, the low frequency content in the excitation spectrum ecreases, while the high frequencies content increases dramatically. The maximum of the excitation spectra from inland sources, located at a distance from the shore like the source depth, becomes less than 10% of that radiated if the same source is located in the open ocean. The effect of the finiteness of the source is also studied and the excitation spectrum is obtained by integration over the fault area. Numerical modelling of the excitation spectra for different source models shows that, for a given seismic moment, the spectral level, as well as the maximum value of the spectra, decreases with increasing fault size. When the sources are located in the vicinity of a shore, the synthetic mareograms calculated at distances greater than the source depth show that the maximum tsunami amplitude decays with decreasing source-to-shore distance. The rate of decay is dependent on the dip, length and depth of the fault. The tsunami intensity, defined as maximum peak-to-peak amplitude, decays with the inland distance of the source from the coast. At an inland distance equal to the source depth, it becomes 4–5 times less than that from a source in the open ocean. If the source is located under the coastline, the intensity of tsunami is approximately the same as for oceanic sources.

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