The earthquake and tsunami of 1865 November 17: Evidence for far-field tsunami hazard from Tonga

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Historical reports of an earthquake in Tonga in 1865 November identify it as the only event from that subduction zone which generated a far-field tsunami observable without instruments. Run-up heights reached 2 m in Rarotonga and 80 cm in the Marquesas Islands. Hydrodynamic simulations require a moment of 4 × 1028 dyn cm, a value significantly larger than previous estimates of the maximum size of earthquake to be expected at the Tonga subduction zone. This warrants an upwards re-evaluation of the tsunami risk from Tonga to the Cook Islands and the various Polynesian chains, which had hitherto been regarded as minor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Volume157
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Historical earthquakes
  • Tonga islands
  • Tsunami hazard
  • Tsunami simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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