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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Apr 2019

Research article | 23 Apr 2019

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

Assessment of the 1783 Scilla landslide-tsunami effects on Calabria and Sicily coasts through numerical modeling

Filippo Zaniboni1,2, Gianluca Pagnoni1, Glauco Gallotti1, Maria Ausilia Paparo1, Alberto Armigliato1, and Stefano Tinti1 Filippo Zaniboni et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Viale Berti-Pichat 6/2, 40127 Bologna, Italy
  • 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia – Sezione di Bologna, Bologna, via Donato Creti 12, 40128 Bologna, Italy

Abstract. The 1783 Scilla tsunami, induced by a coastal landslide occurring during an intense seismic sequence in Calabria (South Italy), was one of the most lethal ever observed in Italy. It caused more than 1500 fatalities, most of which on the 10 beach close to the town where people gathered to escape earthquake shaking. In this paper, complementing a previous work (Zaniboni et al., 2016) focusing on the very local tsunami effects in the town of Scilla, we study the tsunami impact on the Calabria and Sicily coasts out of Scilla. To this purpose we take into account the same landslide geometry considered in the previous study and perform three tsunami simulations, one embracing a larger region with a 50-m computational grid, and two covering the specific area of Capo Peloro, in Sicily, facing Scilla on the western side of the Messina Straits, with even 15 higher resolution (10 m mesh). Numerical results show a very good agreement with the historical observations in Capo Peloro. Moreover, the resulting global tsunami inundation pattern provides a useful hint for tsunami hazard assessment in the Messina Straits area, which is known to be one of the most exposed to tsunami threat in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea.

Filippo Zaniboni et al.
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Filippo Zaniboni et al.
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Short summary
This work represents the extension of a previous investigation on the 1783 lethal landslide-tsunami, provoking more than 1,500 casualties in the coastal town of Scilla. The effects of the tsunami are here assessed on a wider domain, and compared with the available observations from historical reports. The eastern end of Sicily, named Capo Peloro, is the most affected site in the far-field. A tentative reconstruction of the coeval topography of the area is also realized, with interesting results.
This work represents the extension of a previous investigation on the 1783 lethal...