Inter-model analysis of tsunami-induced coastal currents Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier Ltd To help produce accurate and consistent maritime hazard products, the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program organized a benchmarking workshop to evaluate the numerical modeling of tsunami currents. Thirteen teams of international researchers, using a set of tsunami models currently utilized for hazard mitigation studies, presented results for a series of benchmarking problems; these results are summarized in this paper. Comparisons focus on physical situations where the currents are shear and separation driven, and are thus de-coupled from the incident tsunami waveform. In general, we find that models of increasing physical complexity provide better accuracy, and that low-order three-dimensional models are superior to high-order two-dimensional models. Inside separation zones and in areas strongly affected by eddies, the magnitude of both model-data errors and inter-model differences can be the same as the magnitude of the mean flow. Thus, we make arguments for the need of an ensemble modeling approach for areas affected by large-scale turbulent eddies, where deterministic simulation may be misleading. As a result of the analyses presented herein, we expect that tsunami modelers now have a better awareness of their ability to accurately capture the physics of tsunami currents, and therefore a better understanding of how to use these simulation tools for hazard assessment and mitigation efforts.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Lynett, P. J., Gately, K., Wilson, R., Montoya, L., Arcas, D., Aytore, B., ... Zhang, Y. J.

citation count

  • 69

complete list of authors

  • Lynett, Patrick J||Gately, Kara||Wilson, Rick||Montoya, Luis||Arcas, Diego||Aytore, Betul||Bai, Yefei||Bricker, Jeremy D||Castro, Manuel J||Cheung, Kwok Fai||David, C Gabriel||Dogan, Gozde Guney||Escalante, Cipriano||Gonzalez-Vidak, Jose Manuel||Grilli, Stephan T||Heitmann, Troy W||Horrillo, Juan||Kanoglu, Utku||Kian, Rozita||Kirby, James T||Li, Wenwen||Macias, Jorge||Nicolsky, Dmitry J||Ortega, Sergio||Pampell-Manis, Alyssa||Park, Yong Sung||Roeber, Volker||Sharghivand, Naeimeh||Shelby, Michael||Shi, Fengyan||Tehranirad, Babak||Tolkova, Elena||Thio, Hong Kie||Velioglu, Deniz||Yalciner, Ahmet Cevdet||Yamazaki, Yoshiki||Zaytsev, Andrey||Zhang, YJ

publication date

  • January 2017