The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 generated a massive tsunami wave that severely damaged coastal areas of Japan. Furthermore, the wave propagated into rivers, causing damage upstream far from shore. Videos recorded during this tsunami event were collected and analyzed to estimate the celerity of tsunami propagation in river and on the land. The result shows good comparison with estimation based on theoretical approaches that use water level measurement data. It was found that the tsunami celerity in river is approximately 25-30 km/h, and moved upstream with gradual deceleration. However, wave celerity on land was decreased significantly due to debris and dominant ground friction. The propagation trend in river mainstream and floodplain behaves differently in the location where the mainstream is not parallel to the embankment. Tsunami discharge and velocity in a river induced by tsunami wave were estimated based on continuity equation using the measured water level variation along the Sunaoshi River. The maximum estimated discharge is approximately 152 m3/s with the maximum velocity of 1.4 m/s.
- Sendai Plain
- The Great East Japan earthquake
- tsunami propagation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology