07 Jul 2021

07 Jul 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Multilayer modelling of waves generated by explosive submarine volcanism

Matthew W. Hayward1, Colin N. Whittaker1, Emily M. Lane2, William Power3, Stéphane Popinet4, and James D. L. White5 Matthew W. Hayward et al.
  • 1Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2NIWA Taihoro Nukurangi, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 3GNS Science Te Pū Ao, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 4Institut Jean le Rond d’Alembert, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Paris, France
  • 5Geology Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Abstract. Theoretical source models of underwater explosions are often applied in studying tsunami hazards associated with submarine volcanism; however, their use in numerical codes based on the shallow water equations can neglect the significant dispersion of the generated wavefield. A non-hydrostatic multilayer method is validated against a laboratory-scale experiment of wave generation from instantaneous disturbances and at field-scale submarine explosions at Mono Lake, California, utilising the relevant theoretical models. The numerical method accurately reproduces the range of observed wave characteristics for positive disturbances and suggests a previously unreported relationship of extended initial troughs for negative disturbances at low dispersivity and high nonlinearity parameters. Satisfactory amplitudes and phase velocities within the initial wave group are found using underwater explosion models at Mono Lake. The scheme is then applied to modelling tsunamis generated by volcanic explosions at Lake Taupō, New Zealand, for a magnitude range representing ejecta volumes between 0.04–0.4 km3. Waves reach all shores within 15 minutes with maximum incident crest amplitudes around 4 m at shores near the source. This work shows that the multilayer scheme used is computationally efficient and able to capture a wide range of wave characteristics, including dispersive effects, which is necessary when investigating submarine explosions. This research therefore provides the foundation for future studies involving a rigorous probabilistic hazard assessment to quantify the risks and relative significance of this tsunami source mechanism.

Matthew W. Hayward et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-109', Stephan Grilli, 25 Aug 2021
  • CC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-109', Stephan Grilli, 25 Aug 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-109', Stephan Grilli, 29 Aug 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Matthew Hayward, 07 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-109', Simon J. Barker, 06 Sep 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Matthew Hayward, 07 Oct 2021

Matthew W. Hayward et al.

Video supplement

High Volume Run of Lake Taupō explosive tsunami Matthew W. Hayward

Matthew W. Hayward et al.


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Short summary
This work presents validation case studies for a numerical method used in simulating water surface disturbances; firstly, a laboratory flume scale experiment, then by using empirical models to replicate waves generated by explosions at field-scale. We then demonstrate use of the scheme for simulating analogous volcanic eruptions, illustrating the resulting wavefield. We show that this scheme models dispersive sources such as underwater explosions more proficiently than common tsunami models.