Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-346
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-346

  17 Nov 2021

17 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Historical Tsunamis of Taiwan in the Eighteenth Century: the 1781 Jiateng Harbor Flooding and 1782 Tsunami Event

Tien-Chi Liu1, Tso-Ren Wu2,3,4, and Shu-Kun Hsu5,6 Tien-Chi Liu et al.
  • 1Center for Astronautical Physics and Engineering, National Central University, Taiwan
  • 2Graduate Institute of Hydrological and Oceanic Sciences, National Central University, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Civil Engineering, National Central University, Taiwan
  • 4Earthquake-Disaster & Risk Evaluation and Management Center, National Central University, Taiwan
  • 5Department of Earth Sciences, National Central University, Taiwan
  • 6Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Abstract. This research aims to study two of the historical tsunamis occurred in Taiwan during the 18th century and to reconstruct the incidents. The 1781 Jiateng Harbor Flooding, recorded by the Chinese historical document, Taiwan Interview Catalogue, took place on the southwest coast of Taiwan. On the other hand, the 1782 Tsunami was documented in foreign languages, with uncertainties of the actual time. Reasoning these historical events requires not only carefully examining the literature records but also performing the scenarios that match the descriptions. The Impact Intensity Analysis (IIA) is employed to locate possible regions of tsunami sources in order to reproduce the events. Numerical simulations based on the Cornell Multi-Grid Coupled Tsunami Model (COMCOT) analyze the influence of different types of tsunami generated both by submarine mass failures and seismic activities. Numerical results indicate that the source of the 1781 Jiateng Harbor Flooding is located very possibly at the South South-West side of Taiwan. However, simulation results and historical records put the existence of the 1782 Tsunami in doubt, and the possibility of storm surges could not be ruled out.

Tien-Chi Liu et al.

Status: open (until 29 Dec 2021)

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Tien-Chi Liu et al.

Tien-Chi Liu et al.

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Short summary
The findings from historical reports and numerical studies suggest the 1781 Jiateng Harbor Flooding and the 1782 Tsunami should be two independent incidents. Local tsunamis generated in southwest Taiwan could be responsible for the 1781 Jiateng Harbor Flooding while the existence of the 1782 Tsunami remains doubtful. Together with the documents of a storm event on 22 May 1782, the possibility that the significant water level of the 1782 Tsunami caused by storm surges could not be ignored.
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