Tsunami Observations in Rivers from a Perspective of Tsunami Interaction with Tide and Riverine Flow

Elena Tolkova, Hitoshi Tanaka, Min Roh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The observations of the 2011 Tohoku tsunami and the 2010 Chilean tsunami in several rivers in Japan and in the Columbia River in the USA are analyzed for patterns of tsunami behavior in river environments. Tsunamis in rivers exhibit actions very different from those observed on an open coast, but very similar among different rivers, though the action scale in different rivers varies greatly. We describe two tsunami effects in rivers as observed in field data. First, the river tide modulates the tsunami wave in a very specific way common to all rivers. Second, a strong near-field tsunami can cause significant prolonged water accumulation in lower river reaches. Both effects are inherent in tidal river environments, and have been reproduced numerically in a simplified 1-D river using a non-linear, shallow-water model with bottom friction. The numerical experiments highlight the indispensable role of a tsunami’s interaction with tide and riverine flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-968
Number of pages16
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Volume172
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar

Keywords

  • Tsunami
  • numerical modeling
  • river
  • tide-tsunami interaction
  • water level measurements
  • wave-current interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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