Validating Velocities in the GeoClaw Tsunami Model using Observations Near Hawaii from the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami
by M. E. M. Arcos and R. J. LeVeque, Pure and Applied Geophysics 172(2015), pp. 849-867. doi:10.1007/s00024-014-0980-y

Abstract. The ability to measure, predict, and compute tsunami flow velocities is of importance in risk assessment and hazard mitigation. Substantial damage can be done by high velocity flows, particularly in harbors and bays, even when the wave height is small. Moreover, advancing the study of sediment transport and tsunami deposits depends on the accurate interpretation and modeling of tsunami flow velocities and accelerations. Until recently, few direct measurements of tsunami velocities existed to compare with model results. During the 11 March 2011 Tohoku Tsunami 328 current meters were in place around the Hawaiian Islands, USA, that captured time series of water velocity in 18 locations, in both harbors and deep channels, at a series of depths. We compare several of these velocity records against numerical simulations performed using the GeoClaw numerical tsunami model, based on solving the depth-averaged shallow water equations with adaptive mesh refinement, to confirm that this model can accurately predict velocities at nearshore locations. Model results demonstrate tsunami current velocity is more spatially variable than wave form or height and therefore may be a more sensitive parameter for model validation.

Preprint (September 2014):

This is a revision of a 2013 preprint (and before that a 2012 preprint previously titled Velocity Measurements Near Hawaii Compared to Model Simulations of the 11 March 2011 Tohoku Tsunami.)

The final publication is available at doi:10.1007/s00024-014-0980-y

Supplemental data: SupplementalFigure.pdf

bibtex entry:

  author="M. E. M. Arcos and R. J. LeVeque",
  title="Validating Velocities in the GeoClaw Tsunami Model using
Observations Near Hawaii from the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami",

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