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Probabilistic tsunami damage assessment considering stochastic source models: Application to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Katsu Goda
  • Shiliang Li
  • Nobuhito Mori
  • Tomohiro Yasuda
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
JournalCoastal Engineering Journal
Issue number3
Early online date25 Aug 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Oct 2015


A computational framework for probabilistic tsunami risk assessment due to a mega-thrust subduction earthquake is developed and is applied to the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami from retrospective viewpoints. The uncertain tsunami source characteristics are represented by multiple source inversion models and their stochastic variations that are generated using the spectral analysis and synthesis method. By conducting Monte Carlo tsunami simulation, stochastic inundation depth maps can be developed, which are subsequently integrated with tsunami fragility curves to develop stochastic tsunami risk maps. The stochastic tsunami risk maps display spatial variability of tsunami damage probabilities for a building portfolio, reflecting not only possible tsunami scenarios but also uncertain tsunami resistance of buildings. The numerical results indicate that both stochastic tsunami risk maps and risk curves are affected by the local terrain features, proximity to major tsunami sources, and building characteristics (material type and story number). Consideration of different reference tsunami source models in probabilistic tsunami risk assessment are identified as one of the critical contributors to the overall uncertainty of the tsunami risk predictions. Therefore, in determining critical scenarios for tsunami evacuation and risk mitigation, a wide range of possible tsunami scenarios should be considered in light of the current limited seismological knowledge for the mega-thrust subduction earthquake.

Additional information

Date of Acceptance: 20/07/2015

    Research areas

  • Tsunami risk, uncertainty, stochastic earthquake source modeling, tsunami fragility, 2011 Tohoku tsunami

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  • Tsunami risk uncertainty - July13_2015_main_clean

    Rights statement: Electronic version of an article published as Coastal Engineering Journal, 57, 3, 2015, 38 pages. DOI: 10.1142/S0578563415500151 © copyright World Scientific Publishing Company.

    Accepted author manuscript, 24.8 MB, PDF document


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