Solving the puzzle of the 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami: The case for a slump

Emile A. Okal*, José C. Borrero, Costas E. Synolakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami disaster (over 2200 dead) cannot be simulated satisfactorily on the basis of the displacement field of its parent earthquake: In such simulations, runup amplitudes are too low, the extent of the devastated area too large, and the ratio of far- to near-field tsunami amplitudes also too large. Finally, the tsunami is computed to arrive at least 10 mn earlier than reconstructed from survivors' interviews. Rather, we show that evidence from underwater marine surveys, and from hydrophone records of hydroacoustic ("T") waves identify a slumping event as having taken place 13 minutes after the mainshock, at a site located 35 km offshore, and having involved a volume of 4 km3 of material. Simulations based on a such a source reproduce all main characteristics of the local runup distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSolutions to Coastal Disasters 2002
EditorsL. Ewing, L. Wallendorf, L. Ewing, L. Wallendorf
Pages863-877
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
EventProceedings of the Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2002 Conference - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 24 2002Feb 27 2002

Publication series

NameSolutions to Coastal Disasters 2002

Other

OtherProceedings of the Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2002 Conference
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period2/24/022/27/02

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Okal, E. A., Borrero, J. C., & Synolakis, C. E. (2002). Solving the puzzle of the 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami: The case for a slump. In L. Ewing, L. Wallendorf, L. Ewing, & L. Wallendorf (Eds.), Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2002 (pp. 863-877). (Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2002).