Detailed simulation of tsunami-induced currents in California ports and harbors

Patrick Lynett, Jose Borrero, Rick Wilson, Kevin Miller, Sangyoung Son

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, the well-established approaches of coupling tsunami generation to seismic seafloor motion and the following trans-oceanic wave propagation will be briefly introduced. The focus of the paper will be on the complex transformation of the tsunami as it approaches very shallow water, as well as how these possibly large and fast-moving water waves interact with coastal infrastructure. Examples of coastal impact will be discussed and used to frame the theoretical efforts. The majority of the discussion will focus on tsunami-induced currents in ports and harbors. Tsunamis, or "harbor waves" in Japanese, are so-named due to the common observation of enhanced damage in harbors and ports. However, the dynamic currents induced by these waves, while regularly observed and known to cause significant damage, are poorly understood. We will show that the strongest currents in a port are governed by horizontally sheared and rotational shallow flow with imbedded turbulent coherent structures. Without proper representation of the physics associated with these phenomena, predictive models may provide drag force estimates that are an order of magnitude or more in error. Such an error can mean the difference between an unaffected port and one in which vessels 300 meters in length drift and spin chaotically through billions of dollars of infrastructure. Here, we present example simulation results of a numerical modeling study aimed at providing the California Geological Survey (CGS) and the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) quantitative guidance on maritime tsunami hazards in California ports and harbors. The study focuses on tsunami-induced currents and seeks to define the relative hazard in specific ports and harbors as a result of these currents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPorts 2013
Subtitle of host publicationSuccess Through Diversification - Proceedings of the 13th Triennial International Conference
Pages550-559
Number of pages10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event13th Triennial International Conference - Ports 2013: Success Through Diversification - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 2013 Aug 252013 Aug 28

Publication series

NamePorts 2013: Success Through Diversification - Proceedings of the 13th Triennial International Conference

Conference

Conference13th Triennial International Conference - Ports 2013: Success Through Diversification
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period13/8/2513/8/28

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Lynett, P., Borrero, J., Wilson, R., Miller, K., & Son, S. (2013). Detailed simulation of tsunami-induced currents in California ports and harbors. In Ports 2013: Success Through Diversification - Proceedings of the 13th Triennial International Conference (pp. 550-559). (Ports 2013: Success Through Diversification - Proceedings of the 13th Triennial International Conference). https://doi.org/10.1061/97807784413067.057