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Numerical Modeling of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

Ioan Nistor, Tad Murty, Jinsong Xie


This paper provides a synthetic understanding and an extensive analysis necessary to analyze the 2004 Indian Ocean mega-thrust earthquake induced tsunami, with more emphasis on the application of numerical modeling. The current work used available public domain and collected data and information such as ocean bathymetry and earthquake parameters, tide gauge records, and several field survey data which were used to analyze the theoretical assumptions, the validity as well as the limitations of numerical model. Numerical simulations of the tsunami wave propagation were performed using the nonlinear shallow water, long wave theory. The results of the tsunami wave modeling, particularly in terms of travelling time, agree reasonably with the observed data and enable thus a better understanding of their physical characteristics and destructive potential. The results of the numerical model discussed herein shows that although a very coarse grid size was adapted, the results, based on the NOAA fault-plane mechanism, match the field survey data fairly well. However, there are still several discrepancies observed in both the arrival time and the wave amplitude between the numerical results and tide gauge data. The discrepancies could be caused by the relatively coarse computational grid size used and by uncertainties in the accurate determination fault-plane mechanism.


2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, numerical modeling, MIRONE, GEOWARE.

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