Physical Oceanography, Vol.
6, March, 2012 (Ukrainian Original No.
6, November–December, 2011)
THERMOHYDRODYNAMICS OF THE OCEAN
ANALYSIS OF THE SPECIFIC FEATURES OF PROPAGATION OF TSUNAMIS
IN THE SHELF ZONE OF THE BASIN
S. F. Dotsenko
and N. K. V. Sannikova
A 3D model of nonlinear long waves is applied to the numerical analysis of the propagation of tsunami
waves from a rectangular zone of generation in a basin with continental slope and shelf zone. The
waves are generated by unidirectional displacements of a bounded area of the bottom of the basin for a
finite period of time. It is shown that the efficiency of wave generation depends on the location, hori-
zontal sizes, and duration of deformations of the bottom. The run-up of waves onto the vertical coastal
boundary is maximum for short-term shifts of the bottom, for large zones of generation, and seismic
sources located on the continental slope. The reflection of waves from the coast leads to the formation
of two waves entrapped by the shelf and propagating along the coast in the opposite directions from the
zone of the initial wave impact. A partial entrapping of waves by the shelf is observed. This phenome-
non manifests itself in the form of multiple reflections of the waves from the coast and the shallow edge
of the continental slope and is absent in the case of generation of waves in the deep-water part of the ba-
Keywords: tsunami waves, generation by the displacements of bottom areas, nonlinear long waves,
two-dimensional propagation, numerical solutions, dynamics in the shelf zone.
The process of propagation in the shelf zone and the impact upon the coast are the most important stages of
the “life” of tsunamis from the viewpoint of safety of the coastal area. A significant intensification of these
waves is observed just over the continental slope and in the shelf zone. The parameters of waves on the outer
boundary of the shelf depend on the characteristics of the seismic source and its location in the basin relative to
the shelf zone. Hence, the analysis of the role of these factors in the dynamics and intensification of long waves
in the coastal zone is not only interesting from the theoretical point of view but also necessary for the solution of
the problems of protection of the sea coast against tsunamis.
The continental slope and the shelf significantly affect the behavior of the characteristics of waves ap-
proaching the coast. The application of one-dimensional numerical models of the propagation of tsunamis
makes it possible to study the fundamental regularities of the processes of transformation of long waves in the
coastal zone with regard for the nonlinear, dissipative, and dispersive effects [1–7].
The one-dimensional models do not take into account the refraction of waves and the space divergence of the
wave fields especially well pronounced for the seismic sources located in the zone of the continental slope. Note
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Corresponding author; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
3–15, November–December, 2011. Original article submitted September
0928–5105/12/2106–0371 © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 371