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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-238
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 Aug 2017

Research article | 07 Aug 2017

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Tsunami deposits in Martinique related to the 1755 Lisbon earthquake

Valérie Clouard1, Jean Roger2,a, and Emmanuel Moizan3 Valérie Clouard et al.
  • 1Observatoire Volcanologique et Sismologique de Martinique, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), Martinique, FWI
  • 2Université des Antilles, Laboratoire LARGE, Campus de Fouillole, 97159 Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
  • 3Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, Centre de recherche archéologique de Poitiers, 122, rue de la Bugellerie, 86000 Poitiers, France
  • anow at: G-MER Etudes Marines, Avenue de l'Europe, 97118 Saint-Francois, Guadeloupe, FWI

Abstract. In order to assess tsunami hazard in oceanic islands, one needs to enlarge the observational time window by finding more evidence of past events. To that end, evidence of allochthonous deposits provides estimates of tsunami inundation, recurrence time and magnitude. However, in tropical islands, erosion due to the highly rainy climate generally prevents deposits to stay in place and when they are, relating them to a tsunami is not straightforward, as they can result either from a strong hurricane or from a tsunami. One notable exception concerns deposits sealed by subsequent events. In this paper, we present evidence of an anomalously thick two-layer tsunami deposit in an excavation in Martinique. Analysis of the archaeological remains indicate that it is related to the 1755 Lisbon tsunami. We explain the thickness of the deposit by a tsunami-induced bore in the mangrove drainage channels of Fort-de-France. Our results highlight the benefits of collaborative research involving geology and archaeology, indicate a way to improve our tsunami databases and further constrain the use of numerical modelling to predict paleo-tsunami deposit thickness.

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In order to assess tsunami hazard in oceanic islands, one needs to enlarge the observational time window by finding more evidence of past events. Here, we present a thick two-layer tsunami deposit evidenced in an archaeological excavation in Martinique and we relate it to the 1755 Lisbon tsunami. Our results indicate a way to improve our tsunami databases and further constrain the use of numerical modelling to predict paleo-tsunami deposit thickness.
In order to assess tsunami hazard in oceanic islands, one needs to enlarge the observational...
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