A new study found overlooked tsunami hazards related to undersea, near-shore strike-slip faults, especially for coastal cities adjacent to faults that traverse inland bays.
A new study found overlooked tsunami hazards related to undersea, near-shore strike-slip faults, especially for coastal cities adjacent to faults that traverse inland bays. Several areas around the world may fall into this category, including the San Francisco Bay area, Izmit Bay in Turkey and the Gulf of Al-Aqaba in Egypt.
The study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign civil and environmental engineering professor Ahmed Elbanna and professor Ares Rosakis of the California Institute of Technology used the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to model tsunami hazards related to strike-slip faults around the globe. The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Whenever we saw large tsunamis triggered by earthquakes along strike-slip faults, people assumed that perhaps the earthquake had caused an undersea landslide, displacing water that way,” Rosakis said.
The researchers said that a strike-slip fault exists when two blocks of rock on the fault line slide horizontally past one another. The San Andreas Fault is an example of a strike-slip fault.
Image: Illinois researchers Mohamed Abdelmeguid, left, and professor Ahmed Elbanna collaborated with colleagues to model and simulate previously unrecognized tsunami risks worldwide. (Credit: Photo by L. Brian Stauffer)