Tsunami run-up and draw-down on a plane beach

George F. Carrier*, Tai Tei Wu, Harry Yeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Tsunami run-up and draw-down motions on a uniformly sloping beach are evaluated based on fully nonlinear shallow-water wave theory. The nonlinear equations of mass conservation and linear momentum are first transformed to a single linear hyperbolic equation. To solve the problem with arbitrary initial conditions, we apply the Fourier-Bessel transform, and inversion of the transform leads to the Green function representation. The solutions in the physical time and space domains are then obtained by numerical integration. With this semi-analytic solution technique, several examples of tsunami run-up and draw-down motions are presented. In particular, detailed shoreline motion, velocity field, and inundation depth on the shore are closely examined. It was found that the maximum flow velocity occurs at the moving shoreline and the maximum momentum flux occurs in the vicinity of the extreme drawdown location. The direction of both the maximum flow velocity and the maximum momentum flux depend on the initial waveform: it is in the inshore direction when the initial waveform is predominantly depression and in the offshore direction when the initial waves have a dominant elevation characteristic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-99
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 25 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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