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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-317
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-317
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Nov 2018

Research article | 14 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Detectability of seismic waves from the submarine landslide that caused the 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami

Akio Katsumata1, Yasuhiro Yoshida2, Kenji Nakata1, Kenichi Fujita1, Masayuki Tanaka1, Koji Tamaribuchi1, Takahito Nishimiya1, and Akio Kobayashi1 Akio Katsumata et al.
  • 1Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-1 Nagamine, Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • 2Meteorological College, Japan Meteorological Agency, 7-4-81 Asahi-cho, Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Abstract. On 17 July 1998, a tsunami caused serious damage on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea about 20min after the mainshock of an Mw7.0 earthquake. The tsunami has been attributed to a submarine landslide that occurred about 13min after the mainshock because its arrival at the coast was too late and its height too great to be the direct result of the fault slip of the earthquake. Bathymetric data recorded after the tsunami revealed an amphitheater-like structure that was consistent with a recent submarine landslide. Most current tsunami warning systems are based on analysis of the early arrivals of seismic waves generated by an earthquake. In this study we investigated whether evidence of the landslide could be identified in the coda waves recorded after the mainshock. Based on previous studies of the tsunami source, we constructed synthetic seismograms to represent the submarine landslide and compared them to the observed coda waves of the preceding earthquake, with particular attention to the period around 13min after the mainshock. We found phases possibly corresponding to the landslide event. However, they were easily covered with coda waves from the mainshock. We concluded that the 1998 landslide was too small to be evident in the coda waves following the magnitude 7 earthquake.

Akio Katsumata et al.
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Akio Katsumata et al.
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Short summary
On 17 July 1998, a tsunami caused serious damage on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea about 20 min after an earthquake of magnitude 7. The tsunami has been attributed to a submarine landslide that occurred about 13 min after the earthquake. We investigated whether evidence of the landslide could be identified in the seismic records for tsunami warning purpose, and concluded that the 1998 landslide was too small to be evident in the seismic records.
On 17 July 1998, a tsunami caused serious damage on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea about...
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