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Impact of a Lisbon-type tsunami on the U.K. coastline and the implications for tsunami propagation over broad continental shelves

Horsburgh, K. J.; Wilson, C.; Baptie, B.J.; Cooper, A.; Cresswell, D.; Musson, R.M.W.; Ottemöller, L.; Richardson, S.; Sargeant, S.L.. 2008 Impact of a Lisbon-type tsunami on the U.K. coastline and the implications for tsunami propagation over broad continental shelves. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113 (C4). C04007. 10.1029/2007JC004425

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Abstract/Summary

We investigate the propagation of tsunamis toward the European shelf break, using six different initial conditions (based on the 1755 Lisbon earthquake), in order to assess the hazard to this region. Only one of our source models, an assumed earthquake magnitude of 8.7 Mw with a zonal fault orientation, resulted in significant wave heights at the U.K. coastline. Because of wave spreading, only a fraction of the tsunami energy from such an event reaches the northwest European shelf, which itself provides a further buffer through reflection and frictional dissipation. However, we found significant local reamplification due to wave interactions and resonance on the continental shelf. The maximum elevations obtained were comparable to severe winter storm conditions, but with extreme local variability in the tsunami amplitude. Our results suggest that the impact of any repeat of this event would be very sensitive to the precise location and orientation of the source deformation, as well as by complex topographic interactions on the shelf. The uncertainties arising from the combination of source orientation and bathymetric interaction suggest that any assessment of risk, for places where tsunamis are likely, should consider a large ensemble of initial conditions

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2007JC004425
Programmes: Oceans 2025 > Shelf and coastal processes
BGS Programmes 2009 > Earth hazards and systems
ISSN: 0148-0227
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Published 2008 American Geophysical Union. Not subject to US Copyright.
Additional Keywords: TSUNAMIS; UK; CONTINENTAL SHELF; STORM SURGES; TOPOGRAPHIC INTERACTIONS; BATHYMETRIC INTERACTIONS; NATURAL HAZARDS; EARTHQUAKE; MODEL; PORTUGAL; TELEMAC; RUNUP; EQUATIONS; SOUTHWEST; FAULTS; MARGIN
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 03 Feb 2009 11:03
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/5391

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