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PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF THE EARTHQUAKE (MW 8.1) AND TSUNAMI OF APRIL 1, 2007, IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOUTHWESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN

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Author(s): Michael A. Fisher | Eric L. Geist | Ray Sliter | Florence L. Wong | Carol Reiss | Dennis M. Mann

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 26;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: tsunami | Solomon Islands | earthquakes | tsunami analysis | wave propagation | tsunami modeling | thrust fault

ABSTRACT
On April 1, 2007, a destructive earthquake (Mw 8.1) and tsunami struck the central Solomon Islands arc in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The earthquake had a thrust-fault focal mechanism and occurred at shallow depth (between 15 km and 25 km) beneath the island arc. The combined effects of the earthquake and tsunami caused dozens of fatalities and thousands remain without shelter. We present a preliminary analysis of the Mw-8.1 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Multichannel seismic- reflection data collected during 1984 show the geologic structure of the arc’s frontal prism within the earthquake’s rupture zone. Modeling tsunami-wave propagation indicates that some of the islands are so close to the earthquake epicenter that they were hard hit by tsunami waves as soon as 5 min. after shaking began, allowing people scant time to react.
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