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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-285
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-285
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 10 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 10 Sep 2019

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

Lituya Bay 1958 Tsunami – detailed pre-event bathymetry reconstruction and 3D-numerical modelling utilizing the CFD software Flow-3D

Andrea Franco1, Jasper Moernaut2, Barbara Schneider-Muntau3, Markus Aufleger1, Michael Strasser2, and Bernhard Gems1 Andrea Franco et al.
  • 1Unit of Hydraulic Engineering, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 13, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2Institute of Geology, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52f, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • 3Unit of Geotechnical and Tunnel Engineering, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 13, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract. This study aims to test the capacity of Flow-3D regarding the simulation of a rockslide impacting a water body by evaluating the influence of the extent of the computational domain, the grid resolution, the corresponding computation times and the accuracy of modelling results. A detailed analysis of the Lituya Bay event (1958, Alaska, maximum recorded run-up of 524 m a.s.l.) is presented. A focus on the tsunami formation and run-up in the impact area is accomplished with the numerical model. Several simulations with a simplified bay geometry are accomplished in order to test the concept of a denser fluid for the impacting rockslide material compared to the water in the bay. Further, a real topography and bathymetry of the impact area are set up. The observed maximum run-up in the impact area can be reproduced using a uniform grid resolution of 5 m, where the wave overtops the hill crest on the opposite side of the impact area, then flowing diagonally along the slopes. The model is enlarged along the entire bay to simulate the propagation of the wave. The tsunami trimline is best reproduced when using a mesh size of 15 x 15 x 10 m. The trimline mainly results from the primary wave, but in some locations also from reflected waves. The dense fluid is a suitable, simple concept to recreate a sliding mass impacting a water body, in this case with impact velocities of 94 ms−1. The tsunami event and the related trimline are well reproduced using the 3D-modelling approach with the density evaluation model available in Flow-3D.

Andrea Franco et al.
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Andrea Franco et al.
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Short summary
This study provide highlights on the use of the software Flow 3D in reproducing landslide-generated impulse waves. Since the available data and the possibility to compare the results with other previous works, a numerical modelling investigation on the Lituya Bay 1958 Tsunami event is proposed. It's noticed that the landslide characteristics at the impact into the water body have an important influence in the wave dynamics. The concept use in this work can be applied to prevent such phenomena.
This study provide highlights on the use of the software Flow 3D in reproducing...
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