Numerical Model for Tsunami Run-Up

by Kenneth L. Heitner, Res. Fellow in Civ. Engrg.; California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA,
George W. Housner, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Applied Mechanics; California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 3, Pg. 701-719

Document Type: Journal Paper


The generation of tsunamis by earthquakes and their consequent run-up on sloping beaches poses engineering problems of site location and design criteria. A formulation is made of the hydrodynamic problem of wave propagation and run-up perpendicular to a sloping beach that is suitable for digital computer calculations. The inclusion of the kinetic energy of the vertical components of velocity permits solitary waves to propagate and the inclusion of an energy dissipating mechanism permits the formation of bores or shocks. A finite element formulation suitable for numerical analysis is presented which includes the effect of bottom friction. Results of digital computations are presented for the propagation and run-up of solitary waves and of tsunami-type waves.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Solitary waves | Wave propagation | Wave runup | Tsunamis | Slopes | Beaches | Computing in civil engineering

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