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TSUNAMI PROPAGATION OVER THE NORTH PACIFIC: DISPERSIVE AND NONDISPERSIVE MODELS

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Author(s): Juan Horrillo | William Knight | Zygmunt Kowalik

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 31;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 154;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Japan and Kuril tsunamis | hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic numerical modeling | dispersive and non-dispersive energy flux

ABSTRACT
Hydrostatic (HY) and non-hydrostatic (NHY) tsunami physics is compared by application to the Kuril Island Tsunami (KIT) of November 2006 and the Japan Tsunami (JT) of March 2011. Our purpose is to study the significance of dispersive vs. non-dispersive long waves on global tsunami propagation. A tool which is well suited to revealing tsunami wave transformations is the energy flux. Expressions for dispersive and non-dispersive fluxes have been formulated. This provides an understanding of the role of dispersion in tsunami propagation and dissipation. Separating the pressure field into two parts i.e., HY and NHY shows that dispersive waves extract energy from the main wave, directing the dispersive energy flux away from the wave front. The major result of the application of the energy flux to non-dispersive waves is an enhanced understanding of later tsunami wave train arrivals at distant points – with arrivals sometimes occurring several hours after an initial forerunner wave. Computations show that strong differences between non-dispersive and dispersive waves develop along the length of the main energy beam. This has important consequences for accurate tsunami prediction and warnings.

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