Tsunami modeling of a submarine landslide in the Fram Strait

Berndt, Christian; Brune, Sascha; Nisbet, Euan; Zschau, Jochen; Sobolev, Stephan V.. 2009 Tsunami modeling of a submarine landslide in the Fram Strait. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 10. Q04009.

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The present geological setting west of Svalbard closely parallels the situation off mid-Norway after the last glaciation, when crustal unloading by melting of ice induced very large earthquakes. Today, on the modern Svalbard margin, increasing bottom water temperatures are destabilizing marine gas hydrates, which are held in continental margin sediments consisting of interlayered contourite deposits and glacigenic debris flows. Both unloading earthquakes and hydrate failure have been identified as key factors causing several megalandslides off Norway during early Holocene deglaciation. The most prominent event was the Storegga Slide 8200 years B.P. which caused a tsunami up to 23 m high on the Faroe and Shetland islands. Here we show by numerical tsunami modeling that a smaller submarine landslide west of Svalbard, 100 m high and 130 km wide, would cause a tsunami capable of reaching northwest Europe and threatening coastal areas. A tsunami warning system based on tiltmeters would give a warning time of 1–4 h.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1525-2027
Date made live: 11 Jan 2010 +0 (UTC)

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