Summary This paper evaluates the importance of frequency dispersion in the propagation of recent trans-Pacific tsunamis. Frequency dispersion induces a time delay for the most energetic waves, which increases for long propagation distances and short source dimensions. To calculate this time delay, propagation of tsunamis is simulated and analyzed from spectrograms of time-series at specific gauges in the Pacific Ocean. One- and two-dimensional simulations are performed by solving either shallow water or Boussinesq equations and by considering realistic seismic sources. One-dimensional sensitivity tests are first performed in a constant-depth channel to study the influence of the source width. Two-dimensional tests are then performed in a simulated Pacific Ocean with a 4000-m constant depth and by considering tectonic sources of 2010 and 2015 Chilean earthquakes. For these sources, both the azimuth and the distance play a major role in the frequency dispersion of tsunamis. Finally, simulations are performed considering the real bathymetry of the Pacific Ocean. Multiple reflections, refractions as well as shoaling of waves result in much more complex time series for which the effects of the frequency dispersion are hardly discernible. The main point of this study is to evaluate frequency dispersion in terms of traveltime delays by calculating spectrograms for a time window of 6 hours after the arrival of the first wave. Results of the spectral analysis show that the wave packets recorded by pressure and tide sensors in the Pacific Ocean seem to be better reproduced by the Boussinesq model than the shallow water model and approximately follow the theoretical dispersion relationship linking wave arrival times and frequencies. Additionally, a traveltime delay is determined above which effects of frequency dispersion are considered to be significant in terms of maximum surface elevations. Tsunamis < GENERAL SUBJECTS, Pacific Ocean < GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION, Numerical modelling < GEOPHYSICAL METHODS © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Geophysical Journal International – Oxford University Press
Published: May 18, 2018
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