Laboratory experiments and numerical modelling of tsunamis generated by rock slides into fjords (completed)

The description of tsunamis generated by rock slides requires a multi-disciplinary approach including statistical, geotechnical, and geological assessment for evaluation of the rock slide probability, location, volume, and configuration as well as rock slid dynamics, wave mechanics, hazard and risk assessment. A complete analysis requires a challenging combination of mathematical and numerical modeling, laboratory experiments, field work, and practical applications.

About the project

The description of tsunamis generated by rock slides requires a multi-disciplinary approach including statistical, geotechnical, and geological assessment for evaluation of the rock slide probability, location, volume, and configuration as well as rock slid dynamics, wave mechanics, hazard and risk assessment. A complete analysis requires a challenging combination of mathematical and numerical modeling, laboratory experiments, field work, and practical applications.

The primary objective of the project is to establish procedures and facilitate operational models for assessment and analysis of possible future rock slide tsunamis. Increased understanding and improved computational tools for tsunamis generated by rock slides are sought through a combination of laboratory studies and numerical modeling. Coupling of various mathematical models for rock slide generation, propagation, and run-up of waves will be emphasized.

Norway experienced three major disasters due to subaerial rock slides plunging into water in the twentieth century, Loen (1904, 1936) and Tafjord (1934). The three events caused in total 174 casualties. In addition, there have been several smaller events with severe damage, but without fatalities.

One of the possible tsunamigenic rock slopes in Norway today is located at Åknes along Storfjorden, western Norway. As a result of the need for risk assessment and management in the area, the Åknes/Tafjord project was initiated in 2004 (from 2009: Åknes/Tafjord Beredskap IKS) as a comprehensive R&D, monitoring, and early warning project related to large unstable rock slopes and their consequences in terms of tsunamis threatening local communities. The maximum volume of the potential Åknes rock slide is estimated to 54 million m3 , and movements of up to 20 cm/year are recorded more than 900 m.a.s.l. The present findings of the Åknes/Tafjord project and the existing and unique 1:500 scale fjord model facilities form an excellent starting point for additional basic research required to establish procedures and operational models. The deliverables will be a significant contribution to reduce hazard and risk related to rock slide tsunamis in fjords, lakes, and hydropower reservoirs.

Financing

Project number 205184/F20 of the Research Council of Norway (RCN).

Cooperation

The proposed project will be a close cooperation between the Department of Mathematics at University of Oslo (UiO), the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), and SINTEF Coast and Harbour Laboratory (CHL). Utilization of the 1:500 scale fjord model established by CHL in the Åknes/Tafjord project is considered of uttermost importance.

In the modeling part the project we will also collaborate closely with Cornell University.

For the experimental part we have close links to Georgia Institute of Technology.

Published Oct. 13, 2011 2:25 PM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2017 2:16 PM

Participants

Detailed list of participants