Identification and possible recurrence of an oversized tsunami on the Pacific coast of northern Japan

Koji Minoura, Shin-Ichi Hirano, Tsutomu Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Geological evidence of severe tsunami inundation has been discovered in northern Japan. In the dune fields of Shimokita, in northernmost Tohoku, we have found two distinctive sand layers that are tsunami deposits. The run-up height of >20 m and inland inundation of at least 1.4 km are notably larger than any known historical case in Japan. The tsunami-genic earthquake that resulted in these deposits is thought to have taken place in the Kuril Forearc-Trench system nearly 700 years ago. The recurrence interval of major tsunamis originating in the Kuril subduction zone is about 400 years. Given that the most recent unusually large earthquake took place in AD 1611 (corresponding to the Keicho earthquake tsunami), the findings presented here increase the potential and hazard for an outsized tsunami striking the Pacific coast of northern Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-643
Number of pages13
JournalNatural Hazards
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 1

Keywords

  • Rip-up clast
  • Traction carpet
  • Tsunami backwash
  • Tsunami deposit
  • Tsunami recurrence interval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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