Observations and modeling of tsunami-induced currents in ports and harbors

Patrick J. Lynett, Jose C. Borrero, Robert Weiss, Sang Young Son, Dougal Greer, Willington Renteria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tsunamis, or "harbor waves" in Japanese, are so-named due to common observations of enhanced wave heights, currents and damage in harbors and ports. However, dynamic currents induced by these waves, while regularly observed and known to cause significant damage, are poorly understood. Observations and modeling of the currents induced by the 2011 Tohoku and 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis allows us to show that the strongest flows in harbor basins are governed by horizontally sheared and rotational shallow features, such as jets and large eddies. When examining currents in harbors, this conclusion will generally require a simulation approach that both includes the relevant physical processes in the governing equations and uses a numerical scheme that does not artificially damp these features. 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. The immediate implementation of this type of analysis into tsunami hazard studies can mean the difference between an unaffected port and one in which 300. m long container vessels are detached from their moorings and drift chaotically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume327-328
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 15
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Tsunamis
harbors
Induced currents
Ports and harbors
tsunami
harbor
modeling
Indian Ocean tsunami 2004
damage
mooring
Indian Ocean
Mooring
wave height
containers
hazards
drag
vessels
Containers
Drag
Hazards

Keywords

  • Eddies
  • Field observation
  • Numerical simulation
  • Tsunami
  • Turbulent structures
  • Whirlpools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Observations and modeling of tsunami-induced currents in ports and harbors. / Lynett, Patrick J.; Borrero, Jose C.; Weiss, Robert; Son, Sang Young; Greer, Dougal; Renteria, Willington.

In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 327-328, 15.04.2012, p. 68-74.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lynett, Patrick J. ; Borrero, Jose C. ; Weiss, Robert ; Son, Sang Young ; Greer, Dougal ; Renteria, Willington. / Observations and modeling of tsunami-induced currents in ports and harbors. In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2012 ; Vol. 327-328. pp. 68-74.
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