Probabilistic Tsunami Model

Julian Thomson, GNS Science

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Probabilistic Tsunami Model

State Active
Duration 2019 – 2024
Budget / Funding $520,000
Project Leader(s)
William Power
GNS Science
Emily Lane
NIWA

Vision

Tsunami hazard and risk researchers have access to reliable models developed using synthetic earthquakes in offshore Aotearoa New Zealand and the Tonga-Kermadec region.

Project description

Local and regional-sourced tsunami pose a significant risk for coastal Aotearoa New Zealand, particularly along our east coast. Previous attempts to predict the likelihood and impact of dangerous and destructive tsunami have been hampered by the limitations of earlier seismic models, and the lack of a comprehensive record of historical tsunami.

We aim to address this knowledge gap by using the synthetic earthquake catalogue developed in the Fault Model Construction project to develop a probabilistic tsunami wave-height hazard model for local earthquakes and those occurring along the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone. We will model seafloor displacements and tsunami wave heights at the coast for thousands of synthetic earthquakes in the catalogue. We will also calculate inundation depths and currents at a case-study site for events in the synthetic catalogue.

Our goal is to help Aotearoa New Zealand become more resilient to tsunami hazards by providing a detailed understanding of how local and regional-sourced tsunami are likely to affect our coastal communities and infrastructure.

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