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Estimating the effect of Earth elasticity and variable water density on tsunami speeds

Tsai, Victor C. and Ampuero, Jean-Paul and Kanamori, Hiroo and Stevenson, David J. (2013) Estimating the effect of Earth elasticity and variable water density on tsunami speeds. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (3). pp. 492-496. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1002/grl.50147.

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The speed of tsunami waves is typically calculated using the shallow-water approximation over a rigid-body Earth. Recent comparisons of tsunami arrival times from the 11 March 2011 tsunami suggest, however, that the standard formulation has errors around the 1% level, and it has been suggested that the elasticity of the Earth can explain the discrepancy. While previous work has indeed shown that such elastic deformation can modify tsunami speeds, the effect has been neglected partly due to the difficulty in understanding how large this elastic effect is. Here, we remedy this by providing a new derivation and expression for how to incorporate the first-order effect that solid Earth elasticity and ocean water compressibility have on tsunami speeds. This result is shown to agree approximately with previous theory and helps to explain observed timing discrepancies from the 11 March 2011 tsunami. The dispersive elastic correction and the non-dispersive compressibility correction together may account for the majority of the observed discrepancy.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Tsai, Victor C.0000-0003-1809-6672
Ampuero, Jean-Paul0000-0002-4827-7987
Kanamori, Hiroo0000-0001-8219-9428
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 2013 American Geophysical Union. Received 27 November 2012; revised 25 December 2012; accepted 7 January 2013; published 13 February 2013. The authors thank an anonymous reviewer for the comments.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Subject Keywords:tsunami; elasticity; variable density
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130524-103956058
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Tsai, V. C., J.-P. Ampuero, H. Kanamori, and D. J. Stevenson (2013), Estimating the effect of Earth elasticity and variable water density on tsunami speeds, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 492–496, doi:10.1002/grl.50147
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38666
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 May 2013 17:04
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:39

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