Chile Tsunami on Feb. 27, 2010

We have simulated the tsunami generated from the the Chilean earthquake (35.846°S, 72.719°W, Mw = 8.8 at 06:34:14 UTC according to USGS) on February 27, 2010. The assumed tsunami source is located within the aftershock area during one day after the mainshock (Fig. 1). The fault length and width are 400 km × 100 km. The focal mechanisms are strike:16º, dip:14º, slip:104º from the USGS's Wphase moment tensor solution. The top depth of the fault was assumed to 4 km. The average slip on the fault is 10 m. As the initial condition for tsunami, static deformation of the seafloor is calculated for a rectangular fault model [Okada, 1985] using the source models. The used bathymetry data is 2 arc-minute grid data resampled from GEBCO 1 arc-minute grid data. To calculate tsunami propagation, the linear shallow-water, or long-wave, equations were numerically solved by using a finite-difference method [Satake, 1995]. The maximum heights of simulated tsunami indicate that the tsunami energy is concentrating to directions perpendicular to the strike of fault (Fig. 2). We have downloaded the DART and tide gauges data from NOAA's and UHSLC's web sites and compared the simulated tsunami waveforms and the observed ones (Fig. 2). We can see the tsunami propagation in the Pacific Ocean (Fig. 3).

Fig.1 Tsunami Source ModelThe red contours indicate uplift with the contour interval of 0.5 m, while the blue contours indicate subsidence with the contour interval of 0.5 m. Aftershocks (determined by USGS) during one day after the mainshock are also shown by red circles.

Fig.2 Maximum Height of Simulated TsunamiSolid lines in red and blue indicate the observed tsunami waveforms and synthtic ones, respectively.

Fig.3 Tsunami Propagation (Click to start animation)The red color means that the water surface is higher than normal sea level, while the blue means lower.

by Yushiro Fujii (IISEE, BRI) and Kenji Satake (ERI, Univ. of Tokyo)

ReferencesOkada, Y. (1985), Surface Deformation Due to Shear and Tensile Faults in a Half-Space, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 75, 1135-1154.

Satake, K. (1995), Linear and Nonlinear Computations of the 1992 Nicaragua Earthquake Tsunami,Pure and Appl. Geophys., 144, 455-470.

Last Updated on 2010/3/1