Tsunami Hazard in La Réunion Island (SW Indian Ocean): Scenario-Based Numerical Modelling on Vulnerable Coastal Sites

Tsunami Hazard in La Réunion Island (SW Indian Ocean): Scenario-Based Numerical Modelling on... Several major tsunamis have affected the southwest Indian Ocean area since the 2004 Sumatra event, and some of them (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010) have hit La Réunion Island in the southwest Indian Ocean. However, tsunami hazard is not well defined for La Réunion Island where vulnerable coastlines can be exposed. This study offers a first tsunami hazard assesment for La Réunion Island. We first review the historical tsunami observations made on the coastlines, where high tsunami waves (2–3 m) have been reported on the western coast, especially during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Numerical models of historical scenarios yield results consistent with available observations on the coastal sites (the harbours of La Pointe des Galets and Saint-Paul). The 1833 Pagai earthquake and tsunami can be considered as the worst-case historical scenario for this area. In a second step, we assess the tsunami exposure by covering the major subduction zones with syntethic events of constant magnitude (8.7, 9.0 and 9.3). The aggregation of magnitude 8.7 scenarios all generate strong currents in the harbours (3–7 m s $$^{-1}$$ - 1 ) and about 2 m of tsunami maximum height without significant inundation. The analysis of the magnitude 9.0 events confirms that the main commercial harbour (Port Est) is more vulnerable than Port Ouest and that flooding in Saint-Paul is limited to the beach area and the river mouth. Finally, the magnitude 9.3 scenarios show limited inundations close to the beach and in the riverbed in Saint-Paul. More generally, the results confirm that for La Runion, the Sumatra subduction zone is the most threatening non-local source area for tsunami generation. This study also shows that far-field coastal sites should be prepared for tsunami hazard and that further work is needed to improve operational warning procedures. Forecast methods should be developed to provide tools to enable the authorities to anticipate the local effects of tsunamis and to evacuate the harbours in sufficient time when such an earthquake occurs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pure and Applied Geophysics Springer Journals

Tsunami Hazard in La Réunion Island (SW Indian Ocean): Scenario-Based Numerical Modelling on Vulnerable Coastal Sites

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer International Publishing AG
Subject
Earth Sciences; Geophysics/Geodesy
ISSN
0033-4553
eISSN
1420-9136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00024-017-1632-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Several major tsunamis have affected the southwest Indian Ocean area since the 2004 Sumatra event, and some of them (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010) have hit La Réunion Island in the southwest Indian Ocean. However, tsunami hazard is not well defined for La Réunion Island where vulnerable coastlines can be exposed. This study offers a first tsunami hazard assesment for La Réunion Island. We first review the historical tsunami observations made on the coastlines, where high tsunami waves (2–3 m) have been reported on the western coast, especially during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Numerical models of historical scenarios yield results consistent with available observations on the coastal sites (the harbours of La Pointe des Galets and Saint-Paul). The 1833 Pagai earthquake and tsunami can be considered as the worst-case historical scenario for this area. In a second step, we assess the tsunami exposure by covering the major subduction zones with syntethic events of constant magnitude (8.7, 9.0 and 9.3). The aggregation of magnitude 8.7 scenarios all generate strong currents in the harbours (3–7 m s $$^{-1}$$ - 1 ) and about 2 m of tsunami maximum height without significant inundation. The analysis of the magnitude 9.0 events confirms that the main commercial harbour (Port Est) is more vulnerable than Port Ouest and that flooding in Saint-Paul is limited to the beach area and the river mouth. Finally, the magnitude 9.3 scenarios show limited inundations close to the beach and in the riverbed in Saint-Paul. More generally, the results confirm that for La Runion, the Sumatra subduction zone is the most threatening non-local source area for tsunami generation. This study also shows that far-field coastal sites should be prepared for tsunami hazard and that further work is needed to improve operational warning procedures. Forecast methods should be developed to provide tools to enable the authorities to anticipate the local effects of tsunamis and to evacuate the harbours in sufficient time when such an earthquake occurs.

Journal

Pure and Applied GeophysicsSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 2, 2017

References

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