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Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 657-669, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-657-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
27 Mar 2015
Simulating tsunami propagation in fjords with long-wave models
F. Løvholt1,2, S. Glimsdal1,2, P. Lynett3, and G. Pedersen1 1University of Oslo, Department of Mathematics, P.O. Box 1072, Blindern 0316, Oslo, Norway
2Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, P.O. Box 3930, 0806 Ullevål Stadion, Oslo, Norway
3Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
Abstract. Tsunamis induced by rock slides constitute a severe hazard towards coastal fjord communities. Fjords are narrow and rugged with steep slopes, and modeling the short-frequency and high-amplitude tsunamis in this environment is demanding. In the present paper, our ability (and the lack thereof) to simulate tsunami propagation and run-up in fjords for typical wave characteristics of rock-slide-induced waves is demonstrated. The starting point is a 1 : 500 scale model of the topography and bathymetry of the southern part of Storfjorden fjord system in western Norway. Using measured wave data from the scale model as input to numerical simulations, we find that the leading wave is moderately influenced by nonlinearity and dispersion. For the trailing waves, dispersion and dissipation from the alongshore inundation on the traveling wave become more important. The tsunami inundation was simulated at the two locations of Hellesylt and Geiranger, providing a good match with the measurements in the former location. In Geiranger, the most demanding case of the two, discrepancies are larger. The discrepancies may be explained by a combinations of factors, such as the accumulated errors in the wave propagation along large stretches of the fjord, the coarse grid resolution needed to ensure model stability, and scale effects in the laboratory experiments.

Citation: Løvholt, F., Glimsdal, S., Lynett, P., and Pedersen, G.: Simulating tsunami propagation in fjords with long-wave models, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 657-669, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-657-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
Tsunamis induced by rock slides constitute a severe hazard to coastal fjord communities. Fjords are narrow and rugged with steep slopes, and modeling the short-frequency and high-amplitude tsunamis in this environment is demanding. In the present paper, our ability to simulate tsunami propagation and run-up in fjords for typical wave characteristics of rock-slide-induced waves is demonstrated. The simulations are compared with unique lab test data for a fjord in 1:500 scale.
Tsunamis induced by rock slides constitute a severe hazard to coastal fjord communities. Fjords...
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